Manu Katché : Manu Katché

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Eponymously-titled album from Manu Katché. On his fourth ECM disc, Manu’s unique drumming sets the scene and direction, with compositions and arrangements radiating outward from its rhythm-patterns. His strongly propulsive yet relaxed groove is unlike any other drummer’s, and it lifts up the soloists. Personnel in the ever-changing Katché band currently includes Norwegians Nils Pettter Molvær and Tore Brunborg, first heard together on ECM in the band Masqualero in the 1980s: they still play most attractively together. British keyboardist Jim Watson also makes a strong showing with minimalistically-insistent as well as lyrical piano and thick, swirling organ. Recorded March 2012 in the South of France, and issued on the eve of a major European tour.Eponymously-titled album from Manu Katché. On his fourth ECM disc, Manu’s unique drumming sets the scene and direction, with compositions and arrangements radiating outward from its rhythm-patterns. His strongly propulsive yet relaxed groove is unlike any other drummer’s, and it lifts up the soloists. Personnel in the ever-changing Katché band currently includes Norwegians Nils Pettter Molvær and Tore Brunborg, first heard together on ECM in the band Masqualero in the 1980s: they still play most attractively together. British keyboardist Jim Watson also makes a strong showing with minimalistically-insistent as well as lyrical piano and thick, swirling organ. Recorded March 2012 in the South of France, and issued on the eve of a major European tour.

Release Date 2012
Duration 52:06
Recording Location Studios La Buissonne, Pernes-Les-Fontaines

  1. Running After Years 6:22
  2. Bliss 4:22
  3. Loving You 4:38
  4. Walking By Your Side 5:31
  5. Imprint 5:19
  6. Short Ride 4:04
  7. Beat & Bounce 8:27
  8. Slowing the Tides 5:36
  9. Loose 5:27
  10. Dusk On Carnon 2:20

Christian Scott : Yesterday You Said Tomorrow

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Like Anthem, Christian Scott’s 2007 post-Katrina meditation, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow is more than a collection of tunes; it’s a statement. Scott, who was 26 at the time of this album’s release, spells out his intention in the liner notes, where he explains that — and he cites the 1960s work of Coltrane, Miles, Hendrix, Dylan, and Mingus as reference points — he wanted to “create a record that has all the qualities of the documents of that era as they relate to our time by creating a palette that referenced the depth and conviction of the ’60s in the context of subject matter and sound, but done in a way that illuminates the fact that my generation has had the opportunity to study the contributions of our predecessors, thus making our decision making process musically different.” That’s a pretty lofty goal (and a very long sentence), and a challenge to achieve, particularly with instrumental music. Scott pulls it off with aplomb though — recorded by Rudy Van Gelder and produced by Chris Dunn and Scott, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow is very much a contemporary jazz album, yet it frequently touches down in that earlier, headier era, both sonically and in a more visceral, emotional sense. It’s impossible, for example, not to notice the tonal similarities to Miles’ work of the late ’60s in Scott’s trumpet playing, and the pacing and feisty overall attitude of several tracks is reminiscent of the more contemplative music of that time.

Yet the rhythms and the setting belong to the present, with subtle and not-so-subtle influences from hip-hop, funk, and electronica finding their way into the mix. “K.K.P.D.” (which Scott says stands for Ku Klux Police Department) launches it with a minute-plus of Matthew Stevens’ swampy guitar run and Jamire Williams’ manic drumming before Scott steps in to blow his first coolly muted solo. The piece becomes more aggressive as it unfolds, Milton Fletcher, Jr.’s piano and Kristopher Keith Funn’s bass sending sparks in directions that often lead away from those Scott has chosen. “The Eraser,” a song adapted from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s solo album of the same name, is smoother than the source material yet it’s pervaded by a deliberate, somewhat unsettling scratchiness that signals the listener not to get too comfortable. The titles of some of the other tracks alone — “Angola, LA & the 13th Amendment,” “Jenacide (The Inevitable Rise and Fall of the Bloodless Revolution),” “American’t” — serve notice that this is a record that means business. On the latter, aimed at the negativity presently pervasive in the nation, Scott takes his time developing the melodic theme and musing introspectively as the other musicians build a solid foundation under him, while “Angola…” is a brooding, if occasionally angry exposition that doubles as a showcase for Stevens’ tasteful licks. Stevens is also prominent throughout the record’s closer, which he co-wrote with Scott, “The Roe Effect (Refrain in F# Minor),” a relatively stately, albeit at times unnerving commentary on the abortion issue. The track utilizes a backward recording technique in its latter half, ostensibly to juxtapose the opposing viewpoints on the charged issue, but also, one supposes, to remind the listener that the open-mindedness that goes into creating music as moving and commanding as this is also something we need to keep in the forefront as we find our way through these troubled times.

Released 30 March 2010
Recorded April 22–25, 2009
Studio Van Gelder Recording Studio, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Length 67:30
Label Concord Music Group
Producer Chris Dunn and Christian Scott

Christian Scott – trumpet
Matthew Stevens – guitar
Milton Fletcher, Jr. – piano
Kristopher Keith Funn – bass
Jamire Williams – drums

  1. K.K.P.D. (7:08)
  2. The Eraser (5:30), written by Thom Yorke
  3. After All (7:55), written by Matthew Stevens
  4. Isadora (6:16)
  5. Angola, LA & The 13th Amendment (8:40)
  6. The Last Broken Heart (Prop 8) (5:49)
  7. Jenacide (The Inevitable Rise and Fall of the Bloodless Revolution) (6:51)
  8. The American’t (7:09)
  9. An Unending Repentance (9:42)
  10. The Roe Effect (Refrain in F# Minor) (3:17), written with Matthew Stevens

Eric Reed : Something Beautiful

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In a world where so many young jazz artists feel the need to feature programs consisting exclusively of originals on their debut recordings as leaders, it is refreshing to hear a veteran like pianist Eric Reed, who plays a wide range of forgotten gems, some standards, and jazz favorites along with inventive renditions of songs from gospel, pop, and his own compositions. Accompanied by bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Rodney Green, Reed kicks off Something Beautiful with a subtle yet strutting exploration of Lucky Thompson’s “Sun Out,” followed by a driving setting of Dave Brubeck’s timeless gem “In Your Own Sweet Way,” complemented by Rogers’ tasty bass and Green’s sensitive percussion. The sole standard of the date is “How Deep Is the Ocean?,” yet Reed gives it a fresh look by improvising his way into it rather than stating the melody outright, offering a gently swinging performance. Reed’s deep gospel roots are evident in his celebratory treatment of “Lift Up Your Hands to the Lord,” while his deliberate arrangement of rocker Billy Joel’s ballad “Honesty” almost gives it the feeling that it could be played as an offertory solo. Reed’s originals are just as potent, including the infectious midtempo cooker “Something Beautiful” and the lush romantic ballad “If I Knew You.” Eric Reed’s Something Beautiful showcases a seasoned artist who is very much at the top of his game.

Release Date October 18, 2011
Duration 54:26
Recording Date December 22, 2009
Recording Location Systems Two Studios

Personnel
Eric Reed – piano
Reuben Rodgers – bass
Rodney Green – drums

  1. Sun Out (Lucky Thompson)
  2. In Your Own Sweet Way (Dave Brubeck)
  3. Black Tables (Jesse Tabish)
  4. How Deep Is The Ocean? (Irving Berlin)
  5. I Still Believe In You (Richard Rogers / Lorenz Hart)
  6. Lift Up Your Hands to the Lord (Fred Hammond / Mildred Hammond / Noel Hall)
  7. Mad About The Boy (Noel Coward)
  8. Citadel (Tony Williams)
  9. Honesty (Billy Joel)
  10. Something Beautiful (Eric S. Reed)
  11. If I Knew You (Eric S. Reed)

 

 

Radiohead : A Moon Shaped Pool

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A cursory glance at A Moon Shaped Pool may suggest a certain measure of indifference on the part of Radiohead. Its 11 songs are sequenced in alphabetical order — a stunt befitting a Pixies concert or perhaps a Frank Black box set, not a proper album — and many of these tunes are of an older vintage: the group began work on the opening “Burn the Witch” at the turn of the century, while the closing “True Love Waits” first appeared in concerts way back in 1995. These are the elements of a clearinghouse, but with Radiohead appearances are always deceiving. A Moon Shaped Pool doesn’t play like an ill-considered collection of leftovers; it unfurls with understated ease, each silvery song shimmering into the next. The pulse rarely quickens and the arrangements seldom agitate, yet the album never quite feels monochromatic. Sly, dissonant strings grace some cuts, acoustic guitars provide a pastoral counterpoint to an electronic pulse, Thom Yorke’s voice floats through the music, often functioning as nothing more than an element of a mix; what he’s saying matters not as much as how he murmurs. Such subtle, shifting textures emphasize Radiohead’s musicianship, a point underscored when this version of “True Love Waits” is compared to its 2001 incarnation. There, Yorke accompanied himself with a simple acoustic guitar and he seemed earnest and yearning, but here, supported by piano and strings, he sounds weary and weathered, a man who has lost his innocence. What he and Radiohead have gained, however, is some measure of maturity, and with this, their music has deepened. Certainly, sections of A Moon Shaped Pool contain an eerie, disconcerting glimmer, usually attained through power kept in reserve — nothing stabs as hard as the sawing fanfare of “Burn the Witch,” while the winding, intersecting guitars that conclude “Identikit” provide the noisiest element — yet the album as a whole doesn’t feel unsettling. Instead, there’s a melancholic comfort to its ebb and flow, a gentle rocking motion that feels comforting; it’s a tonic to the cloistered, scattered King of Limbs and even the sleek alienation of Kid A. Radiohead are recognizably the same band that made that pioneering piece of electronica-rock but they’re older and wiser on A Moon Shaped Pool, deciding not to push at the borders of their sound but rather settle into the territory they’ve marked as their own. This may not result in a radical shift in sound but rather a welcome change in tone: for the first time Radiohead feel comfortable in their own skin.A cursory glance at A Moon Shaped Pool may suggest a certain measure of indifference on the part of Radiohead. Its 11 songs are sequenced in alphabetical order — a stunt befitting a Pixies concert or perhaps a Frank Black box set, not a proper album — and many of these tunes are of an older vintage: the group began work on the opening “Burn the Witch” at the turn of the century, while the closing “True Love Waits” first appeared in concerts way back in 1995. These are the elements of a clearinghouse, but with Radiohead appearances are always deceiving. A Moon Shaped Pool doesn’t play like an ill-considered collection of leftovers; it unfurls with understated ease, each silvery song shimmering into the next. The pulse rarely quickens and the arrangements seldom agitate, yet the album never quite feels monochromatic. Sly, dissonant strings grace some cuts, acoustic guitars provide a pastoral counterpoint to an electronic pulse, Thom Yorke’s voice floats through the music, often functioning as nothing more than an element of a mix; what he’s saying matters not as much as how he murmurs. Such subtle, shifting textures emphasize Radiohead’s musicianship, a point underscored when this version of “True Love Waits” is compared to its 2001 incarnation. There, Yorke accompanied himself with a simple acoustic guitar and he seemed earnest and yearning, but here, supported by piano and strings, he sounds weary and weathered, a man who has lost his innocence. What he and Radiohead have gained, however, is some measure of maturity, and with this, their music has deepened. Certainly, sections of A Moon Shaped Pool contain an eerie, disconcerting glimmer, usually attained through power kept in reserve — nothing stabs as hard as the sawing fanfare of “Burn the Witch,” while the winding, intersecting guitars that conclude “Identikit” provide the noisiest element — yet the album as a whole doesn’t feel unsettling. Instead, there’s a melancholic comfort to its ebb and flow, a gentle rocking motion that feels comforting; it’s a tonic to the cloistered, scattered King of Limbs and even the sleek alienation of Kid A. Radiohead are recognizably the same band that made that pioneering piece of electronica-rock but they’re older and wiser on A Moon Shaped Pool, deciding not to push at the borders of their sound but rather settle into the territory they’ve marked as their own. This may not result in a radical shift in sound but rather a welcome change in tone: for the first time Radiohead feel comfortable in their own skin.

Released 8 May 2016
Recorded 2014–16
Studio La Fabrique Studios (Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France) RAK Studios(London, England)
Length 52:31
Label XL
Production
Nigel Godrich – production, mixing, engineering
Maxime LeGuil – assistant engineering
Sam Petts-Davies – engineering
Bob Ludwig – mastering

Personnel
Colin Greenwood
Jonny Greenwood
Ed O’Brien
Philip Selway
Thom Yorke

  1. Burn the Witch  3:41
  2. Daydreaming  6:24
  3. Decks Dark  4:40
  4. Desert Island Disk  3:44
  5. Ful Stop  6:07
  6. Glass Eyes  2:52
  7. Identikit  4:26
  8. The Numbers  5:45
  9. Present Tense  5:06
  10. Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief  5:03
  11. True Love Waits  4:45

Miles Davis : Ascenseur Pour L’Échafaud

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Jazz and film noir are perfect bedfellows, as evidenced by the soundtrack of Louis Malles Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud (Lift to the Scaffold). This dark and seductive tale is wonderfully accentuated by the late-50s cool or bop music of Miles Davis, played with French jazzmen bassist Pierre Michelot, pianist René Urtreger, and tenor saxophonist Barney Wilen and American expatriate drummer Kenny Clarke. This recording evokes the sensual nature of a mysterious chanteuse and the contrasting scurrying rat race lifestyle of the times, when the popularity of the automobile, cigarettes, and the late-night bar scene were central figures. Davis had seen a screening of the movie prior to his making of this music, and knew exactly how to portray the smoky hazed or frantic scenes though sonic imagery, dictated by the trumpeter mainly in D-minor and C-seventh chords. Michelot is as important a figure as the trumpeter because he sets the tone, as on the stalking Visite du Vigile. While the mood of the soundtrack is generally dour and somber, the group collectively picks up the pace exponentially on Diner au Motel. At times the distinctive Davis trumpet style is echoed into dire straits or death wish motifs, as on Generique or LAssassinat de Carala, respectively. Clarke is his usual marvelous self, and listeners should pay close attention to the able Urtreger, by no means a virtuoso but a capable and flexible accompanist. This recording can stand proudly alongside Duke Ellingtons music from Anatomy of a Murder and the soundtrack of Play Misty for Me as great achievements of artistic excellence in fusing dramatic scenes with equally compelling modern jazz music.

Released 1958
Recorded December 4 and 5, 1957
Media 10″ Vinyl
Studio Le Poste Parisien, Paris
Length 1:11:18
Label Fontana

Personnel
Miles Davis – trumpet
Barney Wilen – tenor saxophone
René Urtreger – piano
Pierre Michelot – bass
Kenny Clarke – drums

Side One
1. Générique 2:45
2. L Assassinat de Carala 2:10
3. Sur LAutoroute 2:15
4. Julien Dans LAscenseur 2:07
5. Florence Sur Les Champs Élysées 2:50

Side Two
1. Dîner au Motel 3:58
2. Évasion De Julien 0:53
3. Visite Du Vigile 2:00
4. Au Bar du Petit Bac 2:50
5. Chez Le Photographe Du Motel 3:50

RUSH : Grace Under Pressure

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Grace Under Pressure was the first Rush album since 1975’s Fly by Night to not be produced by Terry Brown, who was replaced by Peter Henderson (Supertramp, Paul McCartney). The change resulted in a slightly more accessible sound than its predecessor, Signals, and marked the beginning of a period where many Rush fans feel that synths and electronics were used too prominently — in effect pushing guitarist Alex Lifeson into the background. The songwriting and lyrics were still strong however, as evidenced by the video/single “Distant Early Warning” (a tale about nuclear war) and the often-overlooked highlight “Kid Gloves,” one of the album’s few songs to feature Lifeson upfront. Other standouts include a tribute to a friend of the band who had recently passed away, “Afterimage,” the disturbing “Red Sector A” (which details a concentration camp), and one of Rush’s first funk-based songs, “The Enemy Within.” Whereas most other rock bands formed in the 1970s put out unfocused and uninspired work in the 1980s (which sounds very dated), Rush’s Grace Under Pressure remains an exception.Grace Under Pressure was the first Rush album since 1975’s Fly by Night to not be produced by Terry Brown, who was replaced by Peter Henderson (Supertramp, Paul McCartney). The change resulted in a slightly more accessible sound than its predecessor, Signals, and marked the beginning of a period where many Rush fans feel that synths and electronics were used too prominently — in effect pushing guitarist Alex Lifeson into the background. The songwriting and lyrics were still strong however, as evidenced by the video/single “Distant Early Warning” (a tale about nuclear war) and the often-overlooked highlight “Kid Gloves,” one of the album’s few songs to feature Lifeson upfront. Other standouts include a tribute to a friend of the band who had recently passed away, “Afterimage,” the disturbing “Red Sector A” (which details a concentration camp), and one of Rush’s first funk-based songs, “The Enemy Within.” Whereas most other rock bands formed in the 1970s put out unfocused and uninspired work in the 1980s (which sounds very dated), Rush’s Grace Under Pressure remains an exception.

Released April 12, 1984
Recorded November 1983 – March 1984
Studio Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec
Length 39:23
Producer
Rush, Peter Henderson

All lyrics written by Neil Peart; all music composed by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

Personnel:
Geddy Lee – lead vocals, bass guitar, synthesizers
Alex Lifeson – guitar
Neil Peart – drums, Simmons SDS-V electronic drums, percussion

  1. “Distant Early Warning” 4:56
  2. “Afterimage” 5:04
  3. “Red Sector A” 5:10
  4. “The Enemy Within” (Part I of “Fear”) 4:33
  5. “The Body Electric” 5:00
  6. “Kid Gloves” 4:18
  7. “Red Lenses” 4:42
  8. “Between the Wheels” 5:44

The Afghan Whigs : “In Spades”

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With their second album since reuniting in 2012, it’s clear that Afghan Whigs leader Greg Dulli has decided to give the band’s sound an overhaul that’s likely to be permanent. One of the more puzzling things about the Whigs’ 2014 comeback LP, Do to the Beast, was that it didn’t sound an awful lot like the band’s best-known work, and that’s once again the case with 2017’s follow-up In Spades, though both albums have Dulli and his obsessions written all over them. The songs still dwell on the dark side of the human psyche and the ugly aspects of romantic relationships (a theme Dulli couldn’t abandon if he tried), but musically Dulli has taken his fusion of R&B and indie rock and retooled it. The proportions feel the same, but the ingredients are fundamentally different, with less emphasis on guitar-based grit, and keyboards and strings taking their place. In short, Do to the Beast and In Spades sound more like Dulli’s work with his side project the Twilight Singers than the Afghan Whigs, and it’s worth noting bassist John Curley is once again the only other Whigs veteran in the lineup (and the absence of guitarist Rick McCollum is a reminder of how fundamental he was to the group’s sound in their heyday). That said, In Spades is a much better Twilight Singers album than the relative misfire of Do to the Beast, generating a greater amount of power and evoking a sinister atmosphere that was decidedly overcooked on the previous album. “Arabian Heights,” “Demon in Profile,” and “Copernicus” diverge from the sound of Afghan Whigs’ masterpieces like Congregation and Gentlemen, but the songs connect in the way Dulli’s best stuff does, and if he’s chosen to bury his own vocals in the mix, the odd production choice works in this context. In Spades confirms Greg Dulli is still a talent worth following, and if this strays from the template of the classic Afghan Whigs sound, it’s not like that group was ever a democracy in the truest sense. It’s Dulli’s band, and what he’s delivered here honestly satisfies.

Released May 5, 2017
Recorded New Orleans, Los Angeles, Memphis, Joshua Tree
Length 36:19
Label Sub Pop Records
Producer Greg Dulli
Mixing Mike Napolitano/Christopher Thorn
Mastering Bernie Grundman/Joe Bozzi
Artwork Ramon Rodrigues Melo

The Afghan Whigs:
Greg Dulli
John Curley
Rick Nelson
Dave Rosser
Jon Skibic
Patrick Keeler

1. “Birdland” 2:50
2. “Arabian Heights” 5:00
3. “Demon in Profile” 3:24
4. “Toy Automatic” 2:56
5. “Oriole” 4:06
6. “Copernicus” 3:30
7. “The Spell” 3:46
8. “Light as a Feather” 3:08
9. “I Got Lost” 3:22
10. “Into the Floor” 4:17

 

Death Cab for Cutie : “Narrow Stairs”

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After spending the better part of a decade in the musical minor leagues, Death Cab for Cutie went pro with 2005′s Plans, a record whose optimism and bright, Technicolor sound gave the band enough leverage to enter the mainstream. “Soul Meets Body” became their biggest rock single to date, but it was Ben Gibbard’s delicate love song, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” that earned the quartet a Grammy nomination and legions of new fans. Some bands might have taken a cue from that success and resigned themselves to a career of acoustic ballads, not unlike the Goo Goo Dolls’ transformation in the mid-’90s. But Narrow Stairs roughs up Plans’ bright palette with something starker, more harrowing, and altogether darkened by Gibbard’s blues. No longer crooning about love or his desire to embrace all of Manhattan, the frontman lives inside his own troubled head on these 11 tracks — or at least the heads of the characters he conjures up with ease, like some music-minded novelist with a knack for pop melodies and witty observations. There’s “Cath,” an ill-married girl who “holds a smile like someone would hold a crying child,” as well as the creepy stalker in “I Will Possess Your Heart,” who simply demands that his intended lover give him the time of day. Elsewhere, Gibbard sings about a friend’s recent heartbreak by referencing her bedroom furniture (“Your New Twin Sized Bed”), offering up his concern — if not quite his help — while the band conjures up a lazy summer’s day beneath him, layering gauzy keyboards with chiming guitar riffs. This sort of contrast between music and text plays an occasional role on Narrow Stairs, with songs like “No Sunlight” and “Long Division” pairing somber lyrics with upbeat, happy orchestration. But the album largely paints itself as the darker, mysterious cousin to Plans — raw rather than polished, heartbroken rather than optimistic, enigmatic rather than energetic. Gibbard strings his words together with an army of free-flowing “ands” and “buts”, and the resulting lyrics — long, uncoiling sentences with no clear end — mirror his characters’ desperatation. Narrow Stairs is far from desperate, however, and the album’s willingness to steer Death Cab into unfamiliar territory (or, to reference an earlier lyric, “into the dark”), is by far its biggest strength.

Released May 12, 2008
Recorded Seattle, King, Washington, United States
Length 44:50
Label Atlantic, Barsuk
Producer Chris Walla

Ben Gibbard – vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, keyboard, drums, drum machine
Nick Harmer – bass guitar, backing vocals
Jason McGerr – drums, percussion
Chris Walla – lead guitar, backing vocals, audio sequencer, piano, keyboard, production, recording, mixing

  1. Bixby Canyon Bridge 5:15
  2. I Will Possess Your Heart 4:11
  3. No Sunlight 2:40
  4. Cath… 3:50
  5. Talking Bird 3:23
  6. You Can Do Better Than Me 1:59
  7. Grapevine Fires 4:09
  8. Your New Twin Sized Bed 3:06
  9. Long Division 3:50
  10. Pity and Fear 4:21
  11. The Ice Is Getting Thinner 3:45

Interpol : “El Pintor”

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As the titular anagram of Interpols name suggests, El Pintor refocuses and realigns the fundamentals of the bands music. Where their 2010 self-titled album split the difference between back-to-basics post-punk and lavish experiments, on their fifth album and first without former bassist Carlos Dengler Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler, and Sam Fogarino hone things even further. El Pintor is Interpols shortest album, and its music is the closest to the ideal form of the bands sound: Kesslers guitar swings between prodding, angular lines and dreamy washes; Fogarino provides crisp punctuation; and Banks yearning-yet-authoritative baritone gives more form to abstract lyrics such as There is a slope like an appetite (Banks also steps in for Dengler, and does an able, if slightly less distinctive, job). Throughout the album, the trio, joined by Secret Machines Brandon Curtis, delivers archetypal examples of many of its sounds. El Pintors opening track, All the Rage Back Home, even combines the bands extremes into one song, pitting dreamy verses against pulse-pounding choruses with results that are catchier than anything on Interpol. Elsewhere, My Desire showcases their flair for spring-loaded guitars that build into a skyward rush; Anywhere and Ancient Ways define their driving rock; and My Blue Supreme and Breaker 1 typify their chilly ballads. That said, the band also leave a little room for experimentation. Same Town New Storys skipping beat nods to Banks fondness for hip-hop, while its velvety yet tense guitars and keyboards give it a more mysterious, open-ended feel than many songs here. Later on, Twice as Hard makes a brief return to Interpols orchestral flirtations, incorporating strings and piano into its massive finale. However, what sets El Pintor apart from what came before it is the spirit animating its songs. Even during the albums darkest, most angst-ridden tracks, like the gorgeously despairing Tidal Wave and Everything Is Wrong, Interpol often sound less urgent, and sometimes less immediately compelling, than the highlights of their more uneven albums. Even if it doesnt have as much of the jagged need that sparked their best work, El Pintor is Interpols most consistent album since Antics; fans who love the band for its pure sound will probably enjoy it more than those looking for stop-you-in-your-tracks moments.

Released September 8, 2014
Recorded 2014
Studio Electric Lady Studios(New York, New York) Atomic Sound(New York, New York)
Length 39:50
Label Matador Soft Limit
Producer Interpol

Interpol
Paul Banks – vocals, rhythm guitar, bass guitar
Daniel Kessler – lead guitar, piano
Sam Fogarino – drums, percussion

  1. All the Rage Back Home 4:22
  2. My Desire 5:00
  3. Anywhere 3:12
  4. Same Town New Story 4:09
  5. My Blue Supreme 3:09
  6. Everything Is Wrong 3:32
  7. Breaker 1 4:13
  8. Ancient Ways 3:00
  9. Tidal Wave 4:18
  10. Twice as Hard 4:56