El Pintor by Interpol
I’m as surprised as you are that I’ve never written about the band at #21, Interpol, from New York City. The band formed the year I moved to Seattle and rediscovered my love of music: 1997. They’ve released five albums over that time. Turn on the Bright Lights — they’re debut in 2002, still stands up to the test of time, as does their second album, 2004’s Antics. The next two albums, Our Love to Admire from 2007 and 2010’s self-titled album, fell flat for me, which explains the lack of communication on this blog, which didn’t start until 2009.
El Pintor harkens back to an older Interpol, one rooted in energy and excitement. With the signature upper-register rhythmic guitar, crisp percussion, and near-spoken-word vocals, the band has a sound unlike any other band playing today. They come on the radio, and it’s unmistakably Interpol. That’s not as easy as it may seem, and it’s to the bands credit that they’ve found a sound that works and they can make it kill across nearly 20 decades.
This is a typical Interpol album in that each song is strong on its own merit, and not any one song rises above the rest. It’s also a slight downfall, as when I think of this album when not listening to it, I can’t hear any one song. It doesn’t stick to your ribs. But when it’s on, it’s magical. I recommend tracking it down immediately.
22. I Never Learn by Lykke Li
23. Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes by Thom Yorke
24. The Voyager by Jenny Lewis
25. Voices by Phantogram
26. Morning Phase by Beck
27. Hungry Ghosts by OK Go
28. Run the Jewels 2 by Run the Jewels
29. Cosmos by Yellow Ostrich
30. Teeth Dreams by The Hold Steady
31. With Light & With Love by Woods