• SumoMe

Every once in a while, if you’re lucky, a band will come along during your life and release an album that hits you so perfectly that the songs not only reflect your life, but begin to mold and shape it as well. I am one of the lucky few who have experienced this phenomenon, and it literally divided my life into two hemispheres: before and after “Turn on the Bright Lights.” Today marks the 10th anniversary of this album, which I have absolutely no problems calling the greatest album released during my lifetime.

Interpol, as a band, has consistently released really good tracks. Even in his old age, lead singer Paul Banks has kept the music’s vibe alive through his droning melodies that form a sound uniquely his own. However, the band has only once released a  phenomenal album on par with “Turn on the Bright Lights.” Sure, “Antics” was good, and it had better chart ratings, but it didn’t fall on you like a ton of bricks like its predecessor. “Turn on the Bright Lights” isn’t simply a you had to be there album in order to understand its greatness–it’s still shockingly fresh and relevant, despite my complete memorization of the album.

Why exactly this album has a stranglehold on me, and many others of my generation, is a personal and uninteresting story. Everything from the hypnotic guitar sounds in “The New” to the haunting and enigmatic lyrics of “PDA” add up to make a frighteningly addicting album that encapsulated an entire generation of people who are now around their mid-20s. With September 11th not even a year old at the time, I think this album caught the scared/melancholic youth at a time in their lives where embracing the source of their unspecific target of malaise was the best way to channel their confusion and discomfort.

Nevertheless, it’s important to recognize and applaud greatness. As such, please re-visit this album; if you aren’t familiar with it, you can listen to it in the embedded video on this article. However you choose to listen to it, close your eyes and think back to August 2002–what were you doing? Where were you?

Talk about August 2002 in the comments below. Let’s take a trip back in time.