Tuesday, August 11, 2009
New York City, one of the ever present hubs of creative culture. It was in this city of decadence that Paul Banks, under the pseudonym, Julian Plenti began to write way back in 1996. Almost immediately he made a name for himself through solo acoustic shows. The future looked bright for Mr Plenti but, as it turned out it was bright in a way he had not yet conceived of. The pull of group performance got in the way of his solo endeavors. And thank god it did because with out that diversion the world would never have known the music of Interpol.
However; now, thirteen years later, Banks has returned to his roots with the release of a solo album, once again under the guise of, Plenti.
The debut LP, Is Skyscraper is a everything one might expect from a solo Paul Banks and at the same time is sure to offer its fair share of surprises. The record is a mix of old and new songs, all done in a way which both captivates and delights.
Don't get me wrong. Is Skyscraper is far from a perfect album, it's not without its faults but upon first listen the enthralling nature of something so familiar yet so tantalizingly different is nothing is not an experience.
I have to admit I was expecting something a little more stripped back and traditional then what turned out to be the reality of the project. Many tracks incorporate an orchestral quality, with the use of string and horn sections. The depth that it adds came as a pleasant surprise, made better by the subtlety of the mixes.
Stand out tracks include the first single lifted from the album, 'Games For Days' as well as 'Only If You Run', 'Fun That We Have', 'Girl On The Sporting News' and ' On The Esplanade'.
If you're a fan of Interpol then obviously this album is worth your time and undivided attention. If not then it just might be different enough to catch your attention anyway. What have you got to loose? I say give it a go. Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper. Worth a Spin.