Just not quite as good as 'Bright Lights'
H. Jin | Melbourne, Australia | 02/23/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
Interpol were probably always going to be in a no-win situation with their second album, given the brilliance of their debut and all the unfair "The next Joy Division/Smiths/Chameleons" hype. But they sure didn't help themselves by making their follow-up sound so similar to `Bright Lights'. While the tone is slightly more upbeat, and the band sounds tighter and more professional with experience, too much of `Antics' simply invites comparison with their flawless debut. Understated opener `Next Exit' just begs to be compared to the sparse beauty of `Untitled', for example. But this just reinforces the fact that, no matter which way you look at it, `Antics' isn't as consistently good as `Bright Lights'.
They come close about half the time, particularly on the four singles `Evil', `Narc', `Slow Hands', and `C'mere'. The latter three showcase the slightly more up-tempo feel to the album, with more prominent dance-influenced drum and bass lines. Elsewhere, there are certainly no weak songs, but no real standouts either. Tracks like `Next Exit', `Take You On A Cruise', `Not Even Jail' and `Public Pervert' sound like slightly lesser quality out-takes from their debut; they're good enough, but do they repeat the magic of `Obstacle..', `Stella..', `NYC' or `PDA'? No.
It does seem like I'm judging `Antics' solely on how it compares to `Bright Lights' and not on its own merits. But if you're going to go out of your way to make `Bright Lights Part 2', you can't then complain when people put the two albums side by side. Interpol really would have been better to branch out and make something more like `Our Love To Admire' for their sophomore release. As it is, `Antics' is still a solid album, but you can't escape the fact that it just doesn't reach the heights of their debut.
Ignore the naysayers
hired goon | 08/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The wave of one-star ratings on Amazon for Interpol's second album, Antics, is disconcerting. Why be unfair to this band when so many others deserve it for putting out utter crap? Turn On The Bright Lights was a majestic work, and Antics is a logical follow-up to that. Yes, Interpol may reference a bygone era, but Antics is a collection of songs executed with a tremendous amount of skill and thought. I will admit that Antics is one of my all-time favourite albums; there is an emotional sincerity to these songs (an emotional "weight"), backed by a lethal rhythm section and unpredictable song structures. Better than what the cynics suggest. Much better, in fact."