Interpol – El Pintor Album Review

Interpol paints a marvelous picture with fine lines stroked by a thick brush for their latest album El Pintor. The painting that is created displays a large chaotic image that is sectioned off into 12 individual pieces that tell a story all on its own, the last of which being an untouched photograph that re-enacts a previous painting by the artist. It just so happens to be fitting that the title of El Pintor means “the painter”.

The complexities of the short melodies repeated in an unexpectedly succinct manner give this album the feel of an organized mess. Some tracks display a reverb effect that doesn’t overlap to clash with other chords. With just the right amount of intricacy, not too much and not too little, El Pintor places itself at the threshold of melodic and overtly complicated.

Despite the departure of bassist Carlos Dengler, lead vocalist Paul Banks takes over bass duties with ease, allowing the band to maintain its 4-piece feel with the same chemistry as any band of the same age with the full original lineup. Long time touring member Brandon Curtis adds in a large amount of keyboard elements that become part of the signature sound for El Pintor. At the end of this Target deluxe edition album, one stumbles across a recording of a live version of “Slow Hands” that proves Interpol sounds just as good as their recordings.

Interpol’s El Pintor serves as an Alternative album that is suitable even for those who are not fans of Alternative music. The consistent consonance with properly placed dissonance makes this album a good listen even for Pop and Rock listeners. The crispness of the composition shows the masterful and meticulous thought that went into producing this album.

As all the pieces fit together, the beautiful painting provides a new image all on its own. With such a keen attention to detail, El Pintor shows that Interpol has not lost their touch with their creative roots. One can easily appreciate the hard work put into this piece of art, yet at the same time, the brush strokes seem effortless, almost as if there were an influence of a muse. Indeed, this painting is a great addition to Interpol’s gallery.


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