Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights (Cover Artwork)


Turn on the Bright Lights (2002)



That was the only reaction I could muster when this disc finished spinning in my CD player.

Few albums have given me this stupified reaction over the years, very few. You know the type, they suck you in from the first minute to the last and render you useless in complete and total entrancement. You get up afterwards feeling like you've just had some sort of bizarre spiritual experience and wonder if you could even handle another listen. Yeah, this is that kind of album.

If you've already read a review of Turn on the Bright Lights, chances are Joy Division was mentioned at least once. Understandably so, the similarities are most certainly there. Interpol manages to evoke the same cold, somber atmosphere of Joy Division and vocalist Paul Cook sounds very similar, in both voice and delivery, to Ian Curtis. It's easy to see Interpol as a modern day version of said band, which is a compliment of the highest regards, yet there is much more going on here. Interpol's soundscapes are at times lush and evocative (as opposed to the stark minimalism of Joy Division), displaying similarities to latter day Radiohead. Paul Cook's strong grasp of unusual and abstract melody brings to mind that of Thom Yorke's as well.

This is sad music. No, not in the contrived, angsty sense that is emo. This is the sound of disconnection and melancholy filtered through desperation. Depressing? Yes, this is not something you're going to throw on when you go out on the town. This is music to think and reflect to.

Well, enough of my feeble attempts at trying to capture the sound and mood of Interpol in writing, this is something that needs to be heard to be appreciated. Turn on the Bright Lights is one the most refreshing, moving, and downright powerful albums I've heard in years.

Highly, very highly, recommended...