Turn On The Bright Lights

  • Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Aug 20, 2002
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. This record is no fun at all, the tension is rarely resolved, and -- oh no! -- it isn't exactly revolutionary, though some new shades of gray have been discovered. But you shouldn't allow your perception to be fogged by such considerations when someone has just done it for you and, most importantly, when all this brilliance is waiting to overwhelm you.
  2. Plainly stated, Turn on the Bright Lights is the album modern followers of post-punk have been waiting for.
  3. Loss, regret, and a minor key brilliantly permeate jangling guitars and rhythmic and tonal shifts-- and although it's no Closer or OK Computer, it's not unthinkable that this band might aspire to such heights.
  4. Uncut
    70
    There's exhilaration amid the despondency, as powerful songs and a light, shoegazey sheen means they frequently soar. [Sep 2002, p.111]
  5. Interpol temper this album with real atmospheric sadness: the guitar sunspots that flare through 'Untitled'; the echo and ache of 'Leif Erikson'; the way the magnificent 'NYC' brings on the dancing horses for a slow sad waltz through the city's sickness; the snap-shut metal box clang of 'Obstacle 1'.
  6. Interpol's virtue lies in the way its music unfurls from pinched openings to wide-open codas.
  7. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    Interpol mix the propulsive sonic backgrounds and emotional swells of early-'80s post-punk with unexpected bursts of melody and their own brand of wit to create one of themost exciting new sounds of the year. [23 Aug 2002, p.142]
  8. When it works, like on “NYC” or “Roland” it’s a dizzying and beautiful thing that leaves you starving for more. And even when it doesn’t work, it doesn’t fail – it’s just that at times the band seems unable to live up to their own standards and expectations.
  9. Their robe is cut from cloth that matters: melodic Peter Hook-like basslines; the divine shoegazer textures of My Bloody Valentine and Ride; a peppy, Strokes-like bounce; and a singer who's a dead ringer for Ian Curtis.
  10. Employing layered guitars, probing bass lines, and the occasional synthesizer swoon, Interpol creates an homage to their particular vision of the '80s that stands proudly alongside the best of its idols.
  11. It sounds like the Ramones covering OK Computer. It's also one of the best debuts of the year.
  12. Buy Turn On the Bright Lights. It's great. You'll enjoy it. But don't mistake the next best thing for the Next Big Thing. Interpol still have a lot of proving to do.
  13. 100
    For such a dark and brooding record, Turn on the Bright Lights is also unexpectedly thrilling, coasting on jagged minor-chord guitar melodies and huge emotional swells with a ton of high points along the way.
  14. If I like them because they remind me of eating bad bathtub mescaline in the woods and listening to Cure singles, well, that'll do. You might like them for completely different reasons.
  15. As a debut full-length, the group is definitely doing some excellent stuff, but like any band that gets swept up by the hype machine, you may be disappointed if you expect too much.
  16. There's also a heady melodicism that suggests the theatrical firepower of Roxy Music, a droning tonality where big ambiance sets up.
  17. Don't be fooled by the constant references to other bands. While the foundation upon which Interpol is building, certainly is borrowed, its music is not a miming act.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 309 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 2 out of 137
  1. Mar 3, 2011
    10
    possibly one of the greatest albums ever recorded. everyone stop comparing them to joy division. just because paul banks sings in a baritonepossibly one of the greatest albums ever recorded. everyone stop comparing them to joy division. just because paul banks sings in a baritone voice, it does not mean he is ripping off ian curtis. it just means he sings in a baritone voice. last time i checked joy division didnt use a ton of reverb, interpol does. interpol is way more melodic than joy division. and i do not see the similarities with ok computer. yeah its a sad dark album, but i wouldnt say that sad dark albums are exclusive to radiohead. lucky, paranoid android, karma police, climbing up the walls, exit music (for a film), and no surprises sound nothing like this album. stop comparing them. even if they are "ripping them off", they ripped them off in a brilliant way. kurt cobain admitted to ripping off the pixies on nevermind, no one will argue that that album is bad. turn on the bright lights is an amazing album. end of argument Full Review »
  2. Jun 10, 2012
    9
    Why are you users talking just about Joy Division and Radiohead? In fact I really found offensive when someone was talking about OK Computer.Why are you users talking just about Joy Division and Radiohead? In fact I really found offensive when someone was talking about OK Computer. Turn On... and OK Computer have nothing in common!! TELEVISION!! Does someone remember this band? Maybe the first band to create melodies based on two guitars? This is the main influence for every indie rock band in the world, specially for Interpol. And the "depressive" sensation? It came from Joy Division, obviously. Forget Radiohead! This is a totally different topic... Full Review »
  3. Aug 20, 2016
    10
    Interpol's 2002 critical hit is one to remember. It is a perfect album. Between mesmerizing production and Bank's stylish and slick wordplay,Interpol's 2002 critical hit is one to remember. It is a perfect album. Between mesmerizing production and Bank's stylish and slick wordplay, the debut album rocketed the New York alt rock band into stardom. Full Review »