Spoiler alert: Julian Plenti is really the alter ego of Paul Banks, well-dressed frontman for one of rock’s most polarizing bands, Interpol (opinions range from “Best band ever!” to “Hey, is this a Joy Division b-side?”). Banks’s nom de plume proves to be totally pointless: Instead of crafting a new style that requires listeners to distance themselves from his main gig, Skyscraper mostly just sounds like Interpol with a less talented rhythm section. Make fun of Interpol’s Carlos D all you like (and you should — dude wears a fashion gun holster), but his bass lines are more memorable than all of Skyscraper. A few flashes of inspiration — the understated piano on “No Chance Survival,” Sgt. Pepper’s horns on “Unwind,” and the haunting, acoustic “On the Esplanade” — are noteworthy, but the rest of the album showcases Banks’s worst traits: monotony and bad puns (see: “Fly as You Might”). At least he didn’t grow a soul patch (RIP Chris Gaines).
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