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Every Interpol Album Ranked

Interpol is one of the great bands to emerge from the rock scene of New York in the early 2000s, when your hair was beautiful and greasy and you were sure that doing shitty coke in bathrooms would never, ever get boring. Led by vocalist/guitarist/human vocoder Paul Banks, the band has produced seven albums in an effort to shake off the Joy Division comparisons, so let’s get into it.

7. The Other Side of Make-Believe (2022)

It’s always easy to take a shot at a band for their most recent album, and Interpol made it even easier for us with “The Other Side of Make-Believe.” The title is a good indicator of the group’s gradually loosening grip on wordplay, while the songs are just as tired as you’d expect 20 years after their debut. The album was initially written via email due to COVID, but all that makes us want to do is listen to the Postal Service instead.

Play it again: “Something Changed”
Skip it: “Into the Night” (It is crazy how long this song goes on without doing something interesting)

6. Interpol (2010)

When a band delivers a self-titled album deep into their recording career, it’s rarely a good sign. For Interpol, their fourth album “Interpol” marked both their last album with original bassist Carlos D (Dengler, if you’re nasty) and the band’s initial wave of consistently good albums. Guys, if you’re going to open with a song titled “Success,” maybe make sure it’s actually good.

Play it again: “Barricade”
Skip it: “Summer Well”



5. El Pintor (2014)

At the very least, “El Pintor” proved that Interpol was still exactly the same band sans one weirdly named bassist. While the album doesn’t reach the ineffable heights Interpol could reach at their best and buzziest, there are some weird, interesting moments here. The looping guitar hook of “Same Town, New Story” previewed Paul Banks’s work with the RZA a few years later, and “Everything is Wrong” is a pretty good track for when you’re eight vodkas in and can’t quite explain why it’s a good idea to suddenly text an ex.


Play it again: “Same Town, New Story”
Skip it: “Ancient Ways”

4. Marauder (2018)

We don’t really love the phrase “comeback album” because it sounds too much like a stupid sex pun, but we have to admit it fits “Marauder.” According to Paul Banks, the title refers to his younger, stupider self, and it’s hard not to appreciate a group of songs that collectively call out the worse versions of all of us. Plus, Banks starts the album doing a weird falsetto thing, and that’s a nice change of pace.

Play it again: “The Rover”
Skip it: “Interlude 1” “Interlude 2” (Enough with the fucking interludes, seriously

3. Antics (2004)

Interpol’s second album had to live up to not only the band’s era-defining debut album, but also compete with contenders like Franz Ferdinand and the Futureheads in the marketplace of bands who looked like they had been born with tight black suits and wet hair. Fortunately, it lived up to the hype, with tracks like “Evil” and “Narc” having some of the strongest hooks they have ever produced. “Antics” even managed to not have a completely embarrassing track title on it, which is a big deal for Interpol.

Play it again: “Evil”
Skip it: “Public Pervert” (Actually, forget about the embarrassing title thing)

2. Our Love to Admire (2007)

It’s rare that a move to a major label produces some of a group’s best work, but that’s what happened with “Our Love to Admire.” The band had leaped to fame with their particular version of an icy cold post-punk bad dream, but their third album is where their sound truly became epic and able to handle the ferocity under the melancholy. The addition of keyboards helped a lot with that, but more than anything, the stress of delivering a commercially viable product to Capitol Records seems to have unlocked something for them.

Play it again: “Mammoth”
Skip it: “No I in Threesome” (It’s a good song, but is disqualified for having the worst title this side of 1970s-era Genesis)

1. Turn On the Bright Lights (2002)

What can one say about “Turn On the Bright Lights?” That it is the album that soundtracked a thousand dark nights of the soul when you already felt too old to enjoy your youth? That the shimmering ring of the guitars sounds best when everyone has left the party and you’re surrounded by nothing but empty bottles and shadows? That it fucking rocks as hard as any album of the early 2000s? That sounds about right, we guess.

Play it again: “Stella was a diver and she was always down”
Skip it: N/A, they nailed this one.