When I was in college, I had a semester where I worked nights for a big chain store. On the televisions, we had a music channel loop that would play different clips over and over again. Some of it was schlock, but "Obstacle 1" was one of the soundbites.
The song had me hooked. It had such a groove, and the guitar chimes throughout stuck in my head. And the lyrics were so ... different. Bits and pieces would flash through my head. There was no getting around it: I had to get Interpol's "Turn On The Bright Lights."
So I bought the album, just so I could listen to that song in its entirety and absorb it further. It was a great investment.
This album hit me hard, and I couldn't really place why. The lead vocalist had a bit of Roger Waters to his voice, mixed with a bit of Jim Morrison. And the music? I don't know how to describe it. The music wasn't bare bones ... but it wasn't orchestral or ornate, either. It wasn't punky, it wasn't metal, it wasn't folk, it was just really ... intriguing. In places, it brings to mind David Bowie.
The variety, the style, the sound, the way each song built up for a compelling album ... I was impressed and really taken with it all. I would later have a very similar reaction to Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible" (not for that album's style, but for it's impact and how it grabbed my attention).
Just about every song on this disc is a standout. "Obstacle 1" is still my favorite, but "NYC," "Say Hello to the Angels," "Obstacle 2" and "Leif Erikson" are all very strong songs.
Interpol would go on to have higher charting and more commercial albums, but this one remains my favorite. What can I say? I got hooked with this one.