As the frontman of Interpol, Paul Banks helped to usher in the most recent wave of post-punk. His emotive quaver and resonance have often been compared to that of Joy Divison frontman Ian Curtis. Musically, however, it's clear that he's also absorbed the electrifying, percussion-driven darkness of the Comsat Angels and the harrowing emotional content of the Sound. Banks's recently released self-titled album (this past summer, he dispensed with using the stage name of Julian Plenti on his solo albums) is a reminder of what has made the guy a notable artist from the beginning: He's able to express existential crisis with poetic authenticity and a wry sense of humor, thus avoiding a crossover into maudlin melodrama. In addition, his knack for writing expansively emotive hooks inside shifting dynamics has reached a new plateau of refinement.