When I first heard the earliest Interpol release some years back, their obvious admiration for Joy Division and The Chameleons was somewhat of an irritation, a bee in my post-punk-loving bonnet. For some reason, it was only after seeing them grow up, from a dapper, suit-wearing, New York-centric band playing venues smaller than Bowery Ballroom and progressing to vast stages at festivals like Curiosa and grand venues like Hammerstein Ballroom to become international sensations, and then returning before this latest, self-titled album’s release to play smaller venues again, that I’ve really begun to really appreciate them. 

“Pioneer to the Falls,” the stately album-opening gem from 2007′s Our Love to Admire, struck me instantly as a comforting piece that conjures a mysterious atmosphere of the poetic past (in that song’s case, turn of the century Paris I’d say). Likewise, I bonded to Interpol‘s first single, “Lights,” for its lushness and subtle conveyance of obsession. This album, as a whole, intrigues me.  Its partly thanks to Alan Moulder’s brilliant mix, which revels in the textures, details, rises and falls of the songs, yet it’s also because Interpol have come into their own, building upon what they do best as now-seasoned, more thoughtful musicians (though it’s a shame about Carlos Dengler). Some of the songs are, yes, brooding, and built upon heady, ponderous ideas, like “Always Malaise (The Man I Am),” “All of the Ways” and “The Undoing,” but these are among the standouts, and you must admit, they build up to a fine, burnished glow.  There’s a mindful theme and richness at work here and it makes, overall, for songs that convincingly resonate. (Matador) — Madeline Virbasius

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