a naive review
first of course they wouldn't be interpol if they didn't do something annoying and no I in threesome and rest my chemistry have some annoying or perhaps simply embarrassing lyrical moments as though the singer (let's not call him paul) thinks he's the first to discover/suggest the ménage à trois or a weekend lost to drugs. but whatever. everyone has to do things for the first time at some point.
overall this album is way more appealing to me than antics ever was. it is less aggressive and less cheerful although it might be more aggressively not cheerful and of course that sort of thing gets me every time. something I read on last.fm made me think this is getting tepid reviews but if that is so then I think this album is a sleeper.
because in actuality they are going out on a number of limbs here, trying things with melody and arrangement that they haven't dared before and although yeah it sounds like interpol with the singer's voice (let's not say it belongs to paul) being a bit distinctive and still picking out its melodies from between the guitar and bass melodies, but he's doing little grace notes and slides and other subtleties that haven't shown up in anything before this album. the formulaic arrangements of antics have vanished for atmospheric, stretched out and unconventional shifts in mood that are hard to predict from song to song.
the first time I listened to antics I was barely three songs in before I was accurately predicting the bass breaks and the sudden volume drops followed by 'suspenseful' buildups to one thrash after another; this album kept me guessing, and I like that.
I'll also take somber and introspective over cocky and bouncy any day. this one is simply better than antics and seems to be more of what turn on the bright lights suggested in the first place.
imho of course.