Review: Black Poets – Innocents And Thieves

It is virtually impossible to describe Black Poets’ music without mentioning Interpol. They use all the New York band’s favourite elements from the robotic vocals and nagging guitars to the crisp percussion and general air that all is not right in their world. ‘Innocents And Thieves’ is the Black Poets’ debut album and it certainly sounds like a first record.

Positioned as the second track, ‘Mistakes’ is clearly one of the main calling cards from ‘Innocents And Thieves’. Here, the slow, moody verses build into what should be an exhilarating chorus; its only fault really being that this formula has been done so many times before by not only Interpol but also Editors, The Departure and many more British acts. “Oh baby, do you wanna fly the streets of New York tonight?” Gerald LeCain sings on ‘Amnesty’ and you suspect he would like nothing more than to travel there and rub shoulders with his heroes.

However, this young London-based band are not without merit. ‘Naivety’ is elevated by a cracking riff and a surging instrumental coda and ‘Paris 1932’ coaxes a decent falsetto from LeCain. The title track is also rather fine; once again the song is encircled in an escalating melody and the sense of urgency about it is nailed to perfection. Kudos too for the final song ‘Irene’, where Black Poets manage to convey yearning and longing within a relatively intricate framework.

In fairness, there are far worse bands Black Poets could have emulated and – as mentioned before – some of these songs work pretty well but much like White Lies, they seem to be treading the same ground rather than developing the genre further. Maybe the second album will be the one where they really make their mark.

Web Sites:
Black Poets Official Site
Black Poets MySpace

Further Listening:
Interpol, Editors, White Lies, The Departure

3 Responses to “Review: Black Poets – Innocents And Thieves”


  1. 1 Hermit June 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Got somewhat interested, but alas, especially the vocals are excruciating. Glad I didn’t pay any money for this (whew). Anyway, you hit the nail right on the head on band’s originality. We have already enough half-baked fan bands, what we need is a new Radiohead!

  2. 2 Ali June 12, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I checked out your review and then the band. I must admit, I was impressed. Although I really get bored with people thinking EVERY band has to be original. I want to hear what I like. It’s like when I go to my favorite restaurant. I don’t want to be served up a different meal every time I open my mouth. It’s reassuring to know Black Poets DO sound like Interpol (although I find them less like The Editors who are a band I’m not really into). I have now downloaded the free tracks on their myspace and the album on itunes. Definitely worth the 9 bucks! I think they are more original than most bands and that’s fine with me. Remember Radiohead’s first album? I like most choose to forget it. They went on to become a fine and grand band.

    • 3 Daniel Miller June 26, 2009 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Ali

      First of all, many thanks for taking time to write the comments on the album and provide us with most interesting thoughts, views and references.

      It was great to hear that you liked the album.

      Black Poets do have very many dates scheduled ahead of them for the forthcoming quarter – the next gig/s at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen or the Barfly are on 29/06/2009 and 11/07/2009.

      As you liked the material you may want to see the band delivering the set live.

      So drop me an e mail to danielmillerphotography at gmail.com or my space to confirm your full name for the access.

      Best regards

      Daniel Miller

      Photographer
      Daniel Miller Associates


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