CD Review: Julian Plenti. . . Is Skyscraper by Julian Plenti

Julian Plenti. . . Is Skyscraper, is the debut solo CD of Interpol’s Paul Banks. I hate to address this right off and I would rather just say Julian Plenti is a completely different artist, and he is. It’s a brave move to go out on your own and it makes sense to use a pseudonym when you’re making a solo CD. It means you’re automatically going to be compared to the first band – whether it’s a relevant comparison or not. I want to compare it with itself.

All songs on this CD stand out as winners from the twitchy rhythm changes of Fun That We Have You with its lyrics You came along with your shaky knees / And you came with fire to the subtle calypso background of Only If You Run. Banks is a master at delivering each word with a punch. When he intones in Only if You Run, ‘Cause harmless medications abound and you´re not sick, it’s force with a difference. Skyscraper is a devastating song with its soft, yet pounding drums and gentle guitar. Games For Days is the first song off the CD to be made into a video and with its sinister chorus it’s definitely the catchiest. No Chance Survival features a twisting guitar and strings, as well as piano. It’s a beautiful, immediate song that begins with There’s no chance survival/and no hiding place, like a response to an evolutionary panic attack. Unwind is a triumphant love song with trumpets and many of Julian Plenti. . . Is Skyscraper’s songs utilize string instruments in unconventional and successful ways.

Julian Plenti. . . Is Skyscraper (Matador)
photo by Matthew Salacuse

Check out the video directed by Javier Aguilera for Games For Days:


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