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Home » Music » Pop » Pop Rock

Turn on the Bright Lights

Artist: Interpol (Recorded By)

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Label: Matador (record label)
Album: Turn on the Bright Lights
# Song Title   Time
1)    Untitled
2)    Obstacle 1
3)    NYC
4)    PDA
5)    Say Hello to the Angels
6)    Hands Away
7)    Obstacle 2
8)    Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down
9)    Roland
10)    New, The
11)    Leif Erikson

Performer Notes
  • Interpol: Carlos D., Daniel Kessler, Paul Banks, Samuel Fogarino.
  • Audio Mixers: Gareth Jones ; Peter Katis.
  • Recording information: Tarquin Studios.
  • Photographers: Andrew Zaeh; Sean McCabe.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: Daniel Kessler; Paul Banks ; Sam Fogarino.
  • To make music marked distinctly of a specific period that's somehow so compelling as to be timeless is no mean feat. Interpol initially sounds as if they must have been roaming about Manchester as the 1970s screamed to a close, yet they emerged across the ocean in New York City some two decades-plus later. Combining the insistent drone of Joy Division with the dreamy melodies of the Chameleons, the fire of Mission of Burma, and an occasional jagged edge a la The Fall, the foursome inconceivably manage to defy anachronism on their debut full-length TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS. Just how they do it is indefinable, perhaps it's just a trick of the light, or the life that breathes gloomily, radiantly throughout, but it's undeniable.
  • Vocals which fall somewhere between Ian Curtis's plaintive, edge-of-oblivion wail and the winking, laconic drawl of James's Tim Booth, ripping uncompromisingly through unpredictable, unforgettable lamentations from the reflective ("NYC") to the imploring ("PDA"). When the darkly etched, implosive, mournful lyrics poke out as they do on the unrelenting "Obstacle 1" ("she puts the weights into my little heart and she gets in my room and she tears it apart"), the hook is set for an important debut by a band that portends to be around a while.

Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (12/26/02, p.106) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2002"

Rolling Stone (12/26/02, p.104) - Ranked #7 in Rolling Stone's list of 2002's "10 Best Debuts"

Rolling Stone (9/5/02, p.72) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Their melancholy sound is a thing of glacial beauty....immpeccably tailored..."

Spin (1/03, p.72) - Ranked #32 on Spin's list of 2002's "Albums of the Year" - "...Echoes of Bunnymen, a smidgen of Smiths, lots of Joy Division..."

Entertainment Weekly (8/23/02, p.142) - "...One of the most exciting new sounds of the year..." - Rating: A-

Q (9/02, p.107) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...[Their] brooding melodies make for predictably claustrophobic listening....and they have the tunes to match all the mannered gloom."

Uncut (1/03, p.95) - Ranked #26 in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year"

Uncut (9/02, p.111) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...Exhilaration amid the despondency...powerful songs and a light, shoegazey sheen means they frequently soar...A compelling inaugural shot."

Billboard (p.36) - "If Ian Curtis had discovered city living and Prozac, this is the record he would have made."

Mojo (Publisher) (1/03, p.77) - Ranked #34 in Mojo's "Best Albums of 2002"

Mojo (Publisher) (10/02, p.110) - "...Reverberant and ominous...flashes of steely-grey beauty..."

NME (Magazine) (8/17/02, p.34) - 8 out of 10 - "...Forget the New York state of mind: Interpol have crossed county lines into new, distinctly Mancunian territory..."

Uncut (magazine) - "TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS revels in minor keys and clear, wiry bass/guitar tones that bring to mind Wire, New Order or early U2..."

Format:CD (0 Disc); Stereo
Studio/Live: Studio
Release Date:1 August, 2002

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12 review(s)
All Reviews
Customer on
I love, love, love this album! I've always liked interpol- but I only recently started listening to Turn on the Bright Lights. I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to it the first time, and now I think this is my favourite Interpol album EVER! I would definitely recommend this album to anyone. =)
foxcee on
the album introduces itself with the amazingly hypnotic and beautiful "untitled", the song never fails to surprise me with it's brillaince. there are heaps more other great songs on here that follow. each has a spooky dark undertone which make the band and album unique to current trends in music. i love it. i'm on teh edge of my seat waiting for this year's album :D
H.A. on
this is a pretty good album from interpol, but i myself prefer antics, as the songs on there are less depressing. this album is worth a listen for all fans though, as it has more of their trademark style on it, with deep lyrics and some catchy beats. the song "Say Hello To The Angels" would hav to be my fave, its got the best lyrics etc.
D on
turn on the bright lights by interpol is a great album, just as good as antics if you ask me. i find that this one isn't as appreciated or recognised as antics bu t it think that both are equally as good as eachother. as always, interpol produces some great msuic on this album, all fans of indie rock should love it.
Heather on
love this cd from interpol, who really produce some interesting beats and lyrics to really think about and enjoy. i love a lot of the songs on here, my only complaint would be that the cd itself is quite short unfortunatly! i really like Say Hello To The Angels, and the end track, they would be my faves.
Ben on
Interpol's sound is very reminiscent of Joy Division. Thye have taken the sound and made it feel as though it comes fom New York. It's more precise and sophisticated. The lyrics are dark and depressing, the music is relentless and has just the right amount of hard edge. If Black, Red and White were music then they would be Interpol.
Brion on
Turn on the Bright Lights is an engrossing listen, if not too samey sounding. That’s probably a little harsh, there are some moments of pure genius on this album, and it is never boring. I just love the floating drums and the ohh so blasé vocals. If you like your indie rock and you don’t have this, get it!
Daniel on
One of Joy Division's best albums so far, with some really good songs here. A good peaceful atmosphere in this one, make it a very satisfying release and a must for any fans of Joy Division's music. Highly reccomended, this should please any Joy Division fans.
alex on
Without any shadow of a doubt, this was one of the best albums of the year, A great first album epic! A new age Joy Divison with a dark and mystical sound that keeps you hanging!
Get it in the collection................................A*
Philip on
This is a brilliant debut from Interpol. At first I had difficulty believing that an American band had put this out, it sounds like Joy Division and early 80s gloom rock from the UK. The songs are stirring and atmospheric and, well, catchy. It's great all the way through, there's not a bad song on this album, go get it today. you won't regret it, it's easily one of the best albums of the decade so far, in my opinion.

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