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Turn On The Bright Lights

4.0 out of 5 stars 381 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 3 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B00006BTCA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 381 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,692 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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. The New
11. Leif Erikson

Product Description

Product Description

The stunning debut album that incorporates so many postpunk influences: Joy Division, Television, Morrissey, . Includes the bonus track "Specialist".


The early '80s subgothic, postpunk are clearly Interpol's obsession on Turn On the Bright Lights. Though stylishly clad in suits and ties and unmistakably a New York band, their music is a literate, atmospheric, always-moody, sometimes-trashy postpunk often recalling the Psychedelic Furs, particularly with "PDA," "Obstacle 2," "Roland," and "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down." And this is definitely a good thing. While most young bands are still rhyming "make it" with "fake it," it's truly refreshing to hear Interpol's melodramatic tales of tortured and tortuous urban relationships. Like their peers the Strokes, they're a bright band, sophisticated and meticulous enough to build genuinely stirring soundscapes. Turn On the Bright Lights is an absolute must for anyone who missed Echo & the Bunnymen, the Furs, or Joy Division the first time round. --Dominic Wills

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Nov. 13 2003
Format: Audio CD
Write reviews that is. I'm doing it to balance out all the truly unfair reviews right beneath mine. I'm usually moved to give an opinion only for something I've spent money on that I really, really love or really, really hate. In both cases, I usually find that my emotional judgment of the product's quality impedes giving an intelligent, well reasoned, balanced opinion. Now that I've blathered on pointlessly for about four lines, you're probably wondering if it's love or hate here. Wonder no longer. It's love. So you'll forgive the lack of intelligence, good reason, and balance.
I. Love. This. Album. I don't consider myself a music expert, but I think I have decent taste in music. Sure, I've liked Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, Radiohead, the Strokes, and blah blah blah every other band Interpol is compared to. Forget all that for a second. This is an essential recording for music lovers. It instantly gained a place on my shelf next to OK Computer, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Doolittle, Slanted and Enchanted...in short, the ones I hold in highest regard and listen to with devout frequency.
I probably heard this CD 6 or 7 times in my ex boyfriend's car, completely ignoring it. (It usually came on after Linkin Park, so my expectations were set at low.) To me they sounded like Coldplay wannabes or something. Forget all the fancy name dropping these indie snobs like to do, I wasn't even hearing that. All that dense noise. I wasn't paying attention.
Fast-forward half a year. I listen to my impulsively acquired illegal download of "PDA" 3 or 4 times, admiring the cool full stop in the middle of the song. Then I listen some more. All of a sudden, the song opens up. Becomes penetrable. And there is so much there. So I downloaded "Obstacle 1.
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Format: Audio CD
I grew up in the 90's, so my first taste of music came from my dad's classic rock collection and the grunge and rap on the radio. Interpol released something that I haven't heard from 1990 to its release in 2002.

This album relies on one or two notes per guitar. That sounds boring, simplistic and even artsy. It isn't. Somehow they manage to mix and weave these simple notes to create a force of sound unlike any other. They drive the songs and are as important to the experience as Paul Banks' vocals.

This continues through the album but is far from tedious. There are energetic songs like 'Obstacle 2' along with the dark melodic 'Hands Away'. Changes of pace happens through the album in these songs and other like "Roland" and "New".

Complaints on this album focus on the driving music behind the songs that make the songs longer then some people feel the ought to be. That's a reasonable complaint. Songs like "Stella was a diver ...." are over 6 minutes long and start to sound repetitious. But the music behind the songs is what initially caught me on this album and I couldn't get enough.

I like all sorts of music from 18 minute Coltrane songs to 2 minute punk onslaughts and my patience is far from thin. If yours is you may still appreciate some of the shorter songs on this album. If your used to music on the radio and charts (which Interpol is seeping into), "Turn on the bright Lights" should be a welcome change.
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Format: Audio CD
If you were to take the melancholy of a dreary winter day and attack a recording studio with four talented musicians inside, that would be descriptive of the tone. like so many people, I was drawn by both that tone and the rhythmical delivery of the music. I honestly cannot complain about this album at all, but if I could, it would be that only a few of my friends own it, which is probably a good thing. This album draws on isolation, feeds it, and manifests it into a larger form. the only exception to that is obstacle 2, but thats alright, it works fine in the context of the album, breaking up to slabs of great songwriting, hands away and stella was a diver....
lets see...the songs themselves. untitled is undoubtedly one of the simplest songs on the album, but also one of the most effective in setting up the mood. Obstacle 1 is a rocker with passionate vocals. NYC is just shear slow beauty, and PDA is the obvious single. say hello to the angels is kind of a funky little rock-out piece, and hands away is almost pure melancholy, but the build and the glorious climax is almost heavenly. obstacle 2 (which was written first by the way) is another song that could be a single. stella just gathers waves of beauty and melodies and combines it into one great sad song. Roland is a simpleminded rocker, can't say too much about it except it is pretty fun. The New and Leif Erikson end the album on a slower and more emotional note, and are brilliant songs.
Overall, my favorite songs are untitled, stella, and leif erikson, all of which are the more melancholic songs on the album. However, do not let that fool you, every single song is great, and the album needs to be listened to as a whole to truly appreciate the beauty.
so buy this and have fun!
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Format: Audio CD
Turn on the Bright Lights is an album loaded with songs that I would give three stars, since the songs tend to be derivative but consistantly enjoyable. Yet the inclusion of gems like Obstacle 1, Stella, PDA, and Roland give the album as a whole enough oomph to rise above the average.
Obstacle 1's depressing lyrics ("It's different now that I'm poor and aging/ I'll never see this place again") along with the lead singer's deep voice and robotic cadence cannot help but put one in mind of Joy Division, but don't pass Interpol off as a clone. The New York band's music is far more dependent on guitar atmospheres and is thus much less stark than JD.
For examples of the fine guitarwork on this album, turn up the sound for the delicate intro to The New or the simple but powerful licks on Roland. If only the latter song's lyrics weren't so idiotic and calculated to sound like improvisation, I would consider it a classic.
As long as you aren't expecting to be blown away by the next "totally original rock saviors" or something along those lines, Bright Lights is a sound and worthwhile purchase. It runs from pleasant to near-perfect the whole way through.
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