Interpol – Interpol – 3/5
Interpol’s fourth studio album, a self-titled release, is best summed up by a single word: almost. The rockers constantly seem within reach of something great, yet can never quite grasp it. The result is what feels a little too much like post-punk by the numbers. Haunting guitars, prominent bass lines, and subtle keyboards are all featured, but it all feels like something that’s been done before and done better, whether by Interpol themselves or by classic British alternative groups like Joy Division, The Cure or The Smiths.
Despite the album’s monotony, there are a few standout moments. “Barricade,” the most upbeat song, contains the best attempt a memorable chorus and a danceable beat. “Always Malaise (The Man I Am)” has a great unsettling chord progression and builds to an epic yet abrupt conclusion.
The album’s closer, “The Undoing,” is the best track, though, with English and Spanish vocals and a great sense of drama and tension. However, perhaps reflecting the album as a whole, the track simply fades out instead of coming to any kind of climactic conclusion.
With their latest release, Interpol succeeds in creating a mood of dreariness and despair. Yet where the band succeeds, it also fails. Interpol can’t quite make this dreariness the exhilarating dreariness that contemporaries such as The National have perfected, and because of that, this is a fairly forgettable release.