• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Aug 4, 2009
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. While Interpol is far from a simplistic band, more often than not Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper takes the scenic route, and it pays off with an intimate, subtle set of songs that are strong in their own right.
  2. Interpol frontman Paul Banks makes his solo debut with a surprisingly worthwhile side project.
  3. It’s a frustrating outing that wavers quietly between uninspired and surprisingly vibrant, middling and fantastic.
  4. Only the cloyingly celebratory 'Unwind' ranks as an unmitigated misstep, with its embarrassingly trite synth trumpet hook fitting poorly with the darker hues of the rest of the album.
  5. Banks’s debut solo outing is a leap forward--and notably away - from his band’s rigid blueprint that hinges on cold calculation and angular rhythm.
  6. It's a member of a rock band that plays tightly controlled music stretching his compositional abilities to new instruments and more subtle arrangements. They're not all successes.
  7. This is a flawed, sometimes absurd, but always intriguing album that repeatedly approaches being something special.
  8. Although the alter-ego suggests that Banks would be happy to keep his own name out of it, the fact is that Julian Plenti is ... Skyscraper is the truest reflection of Banks' musical impulses, which don't always shine through in the democracy that is Interpol.
  9. 70
    Though modest, Skyscraper may prove to be an integral step in Interpol’s progression.
  10. Banks has done the near impossible with his first solo record--he has earned the righ tot be considered a legitimate talent all on his own. [Summer 2009, p.62]
  11. Given his chilly demeanor, Banks makes for an uneasy balladeer, and he sometimes overcompensates with treacly string ?arrangements.
  12. I don't know what exactly it says about Paul Banks, but the most borderline-embarrassing tracks on Skyscraper are, in fact, the strongest--it's the safe, formulaic moments that fall flat and, unfortunately, make up a substantial portion of the record.
  13. Just as Interpol always seemed like a good imitation of a great rock band (no-one in particular, just A Great Rock Band, with all its slogans and hooks, and gestures and shapes), Julian Plenti does a fairly good imitation of a solo-artist showing his sensitive side.
  14. This could be a glimpse of a post-Interpol Banks or a hint at a musical transition within the band. It’s worth a listen either way.
  15. Much of it is quieter, cinematic, and, of course, better than Our Love to Admire. Thank God. Sometimes we are impressed by not being miserably disappointed again.
  16. With this solo alter ego, he digs into his gloomy-balladeer side.
  17. All in all, Julian Plenti is...Skyscrapper comes across as more of an afterthought.
  18. Uncut
    40
    Skyscraper is largely drab, despite Banks experimenting with beats, samples and chamber pop orchestration. [Sep 2009, p.90]
  19. Skyscraper is filled with those types of Banks lyrics, the kind of trademark brain-vomit that produces words that sound cute together but lack any semblance of cohesion.
  20. A slightly boring rock frontman adopts a pseudonym to make a solo album, and it sounds like his main band, recorded in a just-passable studio.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. LeahT
    Aug 5, 2009
    8
    A solid, decent album. A cool listen. Yes, his voice still has "INTERPOL" written all over it...but there's an inventiveness here that A solid, decent album. A cool listen. Yes, his voice still has "INTERPOL" written all over it...but there's an inventiveness here that is all his own. Full Review »
  2. Feb 2, 2012
    7
    It's got some decent moments on without doubt and it would have been great if some of these ideas were expanded on by Interpol. Still, it's aIt's got some decent moments on without doubt and it would have been great if some of these ideas were expanded on by Interpol. Still, it's a bit thin and a bit dreary at times. An EP of this stuff would have probably sufficed. Only if you Run belongs on an Interpol album big time - feels a bit wasted on this record. Great track. Full Review »
  3. Nov 28, 2010
    7
    Much better than Interpol's last two efforts. Where Interpol on their 3rd and 4th albums have stuttered and stunted all progress by trying toMuch better than Interpol's last two efforts. Where Interpol on their 3rd and 4th albums have stuttered and stunted all progress by trying to do the same old trick over and over, at least here Banks is trying to take his sound in new directions. It's not always great but it is often very, very good. A pleasant surprise Full Review »