Paul Banks


Banks Matador***

Given the diminishing creative returns from Interpol’s recent albums, it’s understandable that frontman Paul Banks should have a plan B in place. The variety and invention of Julian Plenti Is . . . Skyscraper, Banks’s first alter ego-inspired foray into solo territory, is missing on this sophomore effort. Two over-egged instrumentals as well as the archly aggravating I’ll Sue You and the instantly forgettable Paid for That puncture the album’s pace, and it’s left to Summertime Is Coming, Young Again and Arise, Awake, the showy standouts, to strike a better balance between up-tempo, minor key melodies and forlorn navel-gazing. Even when Banks attempts to reveal a softer side, the stoic glaze that coats his lyrics leaves songs as impenetrable and hard to love. Julian Plenti may be dead, but Banks has yet to fully embrace life.

Download tracks: Arise, Awake, Summertime Is Coming

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