It takes great skill and taste to make pseudo-intellectual condescension palatable as entertainment, and Interpol singer Paul Banks clearly lacks both, in sizeable quantities.
This solo album is stuffed with aloof, adolescent apocalyptism and self-regard set to lumpy, mechanistic beats and cluttered arrangements in which laborious guitar arpeggios and keyboard washes are muddied by pointless spoken-word samples and wayward effects. “Now and then I can see the truth above the lies,” claims Banks loftily, “I feel you're truly anaesthetised”: fine in Manchester in 1980, maybe, but less attractive 30 years on. The album's shortcomings are further compounded by Banks' delivery, which is more like lecturing than singing.
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