El Pintor - Interpol
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 78 Ratings

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  • Summary: Self-produced, the first release in four years for the New York rock band is also its first without bassist Carlos Dengler and features contributions from Secret Machines' Brandon Curtis, Jellyfish's Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., and Bon Iver's Rob Moose.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Sep 9, 2014
    At a concise 10 tracks clocking in right at 40 minutes, there doesn’t seem to be much fat to trim on this record.
  2. 85
    Throughout, the refreshed use of light and dark is notable and works. There is contrast and there is colour.
  3. Sep 8, 2014
    A return to form, it brims with fresh ideas, in everything from the looser production to the chordal detours that suggest the trio is ready to tweak its formula.
  4. 75
    Ultimately El Pintor feels a like a blast of icy fresh air after a sticky, sweltering summer’s day.
  5. Sep 11, 2014
    Even if it doesn't have as much of the jagged need that sparked their best work, El Pintor is Interpol's 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.
  6. Sep 9, 2014
    El Pintor is ultimately more pleasurable than it is painful, enough of a distraction to recall how important Interpol seemed at one time and how they can still pull off the illusion of importance after all these years.
  7. Sep 18, 2014
    Sadly, "Everything Is Wrong" announces another second-half fade, the back side congealing into the same zombie histrionics that sank Interpol. [No. 113, p.57]

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Sep 9, 2014
    Interpol is at a new peak. El Pintor is like a pleasant combination of the ,,TOTBL"-styled use of guitar and the splendid, yet ominous songwriting of Our Love to admire. There are several new, thrilling experiments on the old and time-tested Interpol-esque sounds, most prominent on Same Town, New Story and Twice as hard. Interpol tries new, more eclectronic based approaches and gets rewarded for it. It´s definitely Interpol at core, but still not the same Interpol everyone expected. A splendid album.

    (PS: The Tiny Mix Tapes-Review is the most biased review of an album i´ve read so far. if you want to write a good, yet critical review, look at the one the critic on Pitchfork wrote. I just felt the need to say that.)
  2. Sep 11, 2014
    Interpol made another fantastic album. This is one of their best works, there are amazing guitars, an intense drumming, the powerful bass and the moving vocals. It's an accessible record, full of great dark songs. It's raw and rhythmic, as opposed to the metaphysical quiet of the precedent album. Expand
  3. Sep 17, 2014
    Having immersed myself in the songs that were released way ahead of the album, all of which I felt were quite strong, I feared that the album couldn't possibly be that good. Well I was very wrong, it's a very well balanced album. I'm not sure what all the fuss about Turn on the Bright Lights is to be honest (thought I'd re-visit that album while writing this, and yes, it's very good!). The strength of any musician or band is the ability to evolve, and head off in new directions while still remaining true to the original sound. It will appeal to a far broader audience. If you like what you've heard so far, then you won't be disappointed by getting the full album.

    There have been some brilliant album releases this year, this is easily one of them. My only gripe is that it's a little short, however if keeping you hooked and wanting more was the objective, then they've nailed it. I like it.
  4. Sep 22, 2014
    Well this band always have had good albums, and this album El Pintor, is good sounds like Turn on the Bright Lights, but also have a different sound, like said Paul Banks, in some songs sound different because Carlos Dengler left the band, and the want to sound different. Expand
  5. Sep 9, 2014
    In my opinion El Pintor is not a "return to form" as a lot of people say. Interpol didn't lose the form, they just evolved into something quieter and more atmospheric.
    This album is just a proof that they can go back to an upbeat sound without losing the charm and the elegance.
    But I differ from all the people (and critics) saying this is Interpol going back to their roots. The album doesn't even sound like ToTBL. It kind of sounds like the album that should have been released between Antics and OLTA.

    I might be one of the few Interpol fans that think that Antics is better than ToTBL, and as a fan of the band I think El Pintor is at the same level of those two records.
  6. Oct 24, 2014
    After the boring, uninspired plod of their 4th self-titled album and their prior album Our Love to Admire, Interpol have genuinely impressed me once more, precisely as they did with their second album Antics and even Turn on the Bright Lights. El Pintor is certainly an improvement and altogether a recommendable return to their earlier and much more loved grounds. Expand
  7. Sep 13, 2014
    As I write this review I am listening to this album for the 10th time. I am no expert on music. I don't have an in depth grasp of musical theory and I can't play an instrument save for the occasional air drumming or guitar. What I do know is what I like, especially about music. I'm an Interpol fan. I awaited this album with anticipation. Unlike many I was not overly critical of Our Love to Admire or Interpol. I felt each of these productions had their flashes of brilliance. So now, as I write this review and "Twice as Hard" plays, I hear flashes of beauty and elegance and I am swept away at times. Other times I am brought down hoping for and expecting more. El Pintor starts out roaring with what I feel is the excellent "All the Rage Back Home" and the listener is exposed to introductory themes both lyrically, rhythmically, dynamically, and tonal to say the least. The song is an outstanding introduction to the album in my mind. "My Desire" is a strong follow up but a significant shift in tone and theme but does not break album unity in my opinion. While the song does regress to a homogeneous fabric, it is not a major detraction, but not quite what we are introduced to. Next up is "Anywhere" which starts out strong, upbeat, and in unity rhythmically with our introduction, but it regresses as well, shifting away from what Interpol does best but not a bad song. On "Same Town, New Story" some very intriguing musical themes arise, especially with the guitars, and at times the song is quite elegant, but again we see shifts away from what makes the song the strongest which brings me to the main point of all this: The album is ever shifting and lacks a certain unity, but up to this point it's not too far out of place, just not quite right but the album next shifts to "My Blue Supreme" and there is a certain sonorous unity that emerges and the album seems to unify somewhat.This unity is struck down somewhat by "Everything is Wrong" which presents as my second if not my favorite song on the album. Certain guitar effects are echoed from earlier, but the off time rhythm feels right and I need not say more about this song that I simply love. What follows are a decent echo of Interpol of the past merged with Interpol of the future such as "Breaker 1" which has some haunting musical elements that violate the unity somewhat in my mind but are still strong with a synth background working just fine. Unfortunately the entire album unity is broken down with "Ancient Ways", a song I like, but seems out of place in my mind. They bring it back with "Tidal Wave" and it is this part of the album, where I felt it lost much of what I feel could have made it great. While they brought the album down a notch with "Twice as Hard" and finish with the modest "The Depths" the album comes to a close and the listener is left with a good but not great Interpol record. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews