That’s the man I am

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Interpol – Success

Interpol, the album, by Interpol.

SuccessSuccess is a long-play opener of fecund opera. Feverish trading guitars cocoon bass grinds of hypnotised dance; bass lines reminiscent of previous bouts (re: Turn On The Bright Lights) (For one here so close to his leave, Carlos D is ensuring fun is had.). “I’ve got two secrets, but I only told you [of] one. I’m not supposed to show you.” Interpol usher through Success, the albums shortest track, the zestful return, and, with it, lay early claim to the album’s strongest offering.

Memory Serves – The drudge (not limp) of Memory Serves serves (pardon me) only as waste to momentum, gathered by the work of the three and half minutes previous. Still, the drone is widescreen in its offering, noteworthy to be sure, and there’s enough divergence and adventure in Banks’ melodic offering to attain repeat interest. And it’s a love song, to be sure, “It would be so nice to take you. I only ever try to make you smile,” but not in the sense that Leif Erikson is a love song, “She says it helps with the lights out. Her rabid glow is like Braille to the night.”

Summer Well – Oh, the sensory opposite of torture. “All the while, the protests have shined the same, but you will never notice it’s all right.” Unlike the Interpol of a recent past, and like the trend of Interpol the LP, the emotion is only accessible if the notes and melody provide it. There are no lasting drives, no higher pier to catch, no faked surge to raise your gut. There’s comfort in the plateau. It’s lacking false sentiment.

Lights – “Maybe I like to stray… but keep it clean.”

Barricade – The initial rhythmic section tickles excitement and then, too soon, you’ll feel as though nothing fits. It takes time so coerce each melody and instrument track into working as one entity. “I did not take to analysis, so I had to make up my mind.” Barricade is eclectically sullen, but sprite and fresh in approach. It is neither the strongest track, nor the unappreciated first single it once was.

Always Malaise (The Man I Am) – “I will act in a certain way, I will control what I can, that’s the man I am.” A far-reaching track, splintered into two: the quirky, superfluously darkened side-A, and the softening, blood-rush-warmth of side-B – backed by gun-fire drumming, reminiscent of the “aim” “fire!” training scene, charging towards its abrupt end, making way for…

Safe Without – … a Waits-like, well deep, detracted and muffled beat that quickly looms into a composed musical shedding of melancholy and repeat vocal expression, “I am safe without it.” Whatever “it” is, we’re no wiser five minutes on. It’s Interpol, lead by Banks, at their most cantankerous. Remarkably expressive, even by vague means, through every pour of sound.

Try It On – A quickened piano riff that develops through to a computerised cluster of sound, whistles of distance, and dance floor drumming provide a rapturous jump forward onto a modern field for Interpol, even if, ironically, it implements the old EP speak ramblings of Banks, “Somewhere to stay. There’s nowhere to stay.”

All Of The Ways – This track is coarse, yet the chorus offers moments of dramatic rises in sound, as if bombs were exploding beneath the belly of the track. “Who is this guy? Does he know I’ll wait for all-time?”

The Undoing – Panoramic, if not spiritual, with softened Church organ, ingenuous lyrical offering – in Castilian Spanish – atop a layer of trumpet glaze. They are indeed altered. “Please, please, the place we’re in now.” Indeed, the place Interpol are in now. The freshness of ideas and profligacy of elements that this album accommodates, and without sleeve-tricks, too, is generally missed, and was missed on my first adventures in, only to be found in the midst of several spins and drills of listening later. It’s worth pushing through. Aren’t Interpol always worth the push? [Purchase.]

One Response to “That’s the man I am”

  1. Sam says:

    Really good review. I agree with you on the whole, it was just missing a certain x factor or something, to really make it a great album. Always Malaise (The Man I Am) is probably my favourite so far.

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