Turn On The Bright Lights

I’ve been burn­ing up Inter­pol in my CD play­er late­ly. Theirs is a musi­cal expe­ri­ence that I have nev­er had the plea­sure of lis­ten­ing to before. Turn On The Bright Lights is a very taut album. It goes through a series of anx­ious peaks and intro­spec­tive val­leys but remains rife with a feel­ing akin to what post-trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der (PTSD) must cause. Tot­BL begins with ‘Unti­tled,’ a song that effec­tive­ly brought me into Interpol’s unique vir­tu­al son­ic world and set the ten­sion for the rest of the album.

This is also an album with a plot and plen­ty of sub­texts. The intro­spec­tion appears most often with respect to sex/love rela­tions and thoughts on puri­ty and promis­cu­ity. Lyrics like:

Well, she was my cata­ton­ic sex toy, love-joy div­er | She went down down down there into the sea, | Yeah she went down down down there, down there for me, right on

from ‘Stel­la was a div­er and she was always down’ are pret­ty blunt.
Oth­er songs feel quite urban to a coun­try boy like myself. It seems like Inter­pol are try­ing to cope with an anomie caused by life in New York. Espe­cial­ly in ‘NYC:’

But I’m sick of spend­ing these lone­ly nights | Train­ing myself not to care | The sub­way is a porno | The pave­ments they are a mess

we see the anonymi­ty of liv­ing among mil­lions.

My favorite two songs on the CD are ‘Obsta­cle 2’ and ‘Roland’ and I feel that each are the best exam­ple of the sex/love theme and anomie respec­tive­ly. All of the songs blend togeth­er so well that the CD ends all too quick­ly despite being of nor­mal length. At the same time, while you want to hear more, it is hard to think of any­thing that can be added. The dri­ving crescen­do of gui­tars and the qua­ver­ing voice in the lyrics add clo­sure to each song and the CD as well, leav­ing me, at least, feel­ing as if I had just been through an emo­tion­al work­out.

I liked it if you catch my drift. Give it a shot.