Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Art of the Cover - Paul Banks' "Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper" (2009)

A nice piece of humorous artwork adorns the fine debut solo collection from Interpol frontman Banksy, who here goes by his Julian Plenti alter-ego.

Art Direction was by Paul himself.

Featuring Mike Stroud of Ratatat, Sam Fogarino of Interpol, Charles Burst of the Occasion and Striker Manley of Stiff Jesus, this incredibly varied album runs the gamut from gorgeous folk-tinged acoustic songs to huge, orchestral guitar anthems. The palette changes from black and white to color and back, from regal Eastern European synth sounds of "Only If You Run" to the sad but triumphant brass of "Unwind."

Wow! Paul really pulls it off here. After being put in the position where everybody said Paul was an Ian Curtis rip off and so was Interpol (they sound more like the Chameleons with that guitar interplay anyway.) They are their own band and have their own sound. In Julian Plenti's "Skyscraper" you can hear that Paul has his own style and sense of experimentation. It was the perfect time for it too. If you listen to "C'Mere" on Antics you can tell that Paul was going to do something on his own. 
The album sounds perfect from start to finish. Track 3, "Skyscraper" is simple in lyrics but has a ton of depth to it. You get one part soft and ambient and one part pop mixed on the album. All in all, Paul is great as Julian Plenti. Like Bowie and all of his alternate egos, Julian just may dissapear. But who knows? Maybe another may pop up. He has alot of talent obviously. The album is well worth the listen and if you can forget "Interpol" while you listen, you can hear the man as himself. Thats the hard part and the trick. Don't mix the two together.Wonderful poet and fantastic musician. 
There is a long career ahead of Paul /Julian. -- RATING - A*

By Paul Ramone

1. Only If You Run
2. Fun That We Have
3. Skyscraper
4. Games For Days
5. Madrid Song
6. No Chance Survival
7. Unwind
8. Girl On The Sporting News
9. On The Esplanade
10. Fly As You Might
11. H

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