Matthew Salacuse
Mikael Wood
July 29, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Julian Plenti Is...Skyscraper

Current Status
In Season
Julian Plenti
Indie Rock

We gave it a B-

Julian Plenti is ?actually Paul Banks of Interpol, New York’s most stylish indie-rock outfit. On his solo debut, Banks retains Interpol’s gloomy atmosphere — one tune is called ”No Chance Survival” — but exchanges the band’s orderly post-punk throb for a scrappier brand of alt-folk introspection. Given his chilly demeanor, Banks makes for an uneasy balladeer, and he sometimes overcompensates with treacly string ?arrangements. But on Skyscraper‘s dark gems like ”Girl on the Sporting News,” where a slo-mo beat provides a crucial pulse, he imagines what Cat Power might sound like as a well-dressed dude. B?

Download This: Listen to the song Girl on the Sporting News at

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