Interpol’s weary ‘Our Love to Admire’

by W. Andrew Powell

InterpolInterpolOur Love to Admire [Capitol/EMI]

Rated: 6.5/10

Anticipation for Interpol‘s latest CD has been huge, and the good news is that it’s an album that any Interpol fan can love. The bad news however is that it’s pretty much the same Interpol that we’ve gotten used to over the last three albums. Just as an example, take a listen to Antic‘s huge single “Slow Hands”, followed by Our Love to Admire‘s “Heinrich Maneuver”, and even a diehard fan would have to admit that there are more than a couple similarities. (I personally think they sound so close to one another that they could have been on the same CD without anyone noticing a chord change.)

Our Love to Admire manages to keep itself from sounding, or feeling, like a rehash though. From the first chords of “Pioneer to the Falls” there’s a rich, mesmerizing quality to the band’s lethargic rock that has been refined, and perfected throughout the album. Lyrically, Interpol has never blown me away, but lead singer and songwriter Paul Banks‘ commanding vocals still carry the symphonic edge of this band’s beautifully grungy, rock rhythms. I’m pretty sure Banks could sing the phone book and still make it sound like the saddest, most compelling story in the world.

The album ultimately falls short just by being a rambling tribute to itself. My own expectations for this album may have been too high, but there just isn’t enough meat on Our Love to Admire. By the time we get through “Heinrich Maneuver” the album seems to have peaked, and even with a fantastic song like “Pace Is The Trick”, or “Rest My Chemistry”, I couldn’t help but feel Interpol missed its chance here. The sameness of their sound overpowers almost any of the other great things I could say about the CD, and in an age where it takes convincing to sell an entire album, rather than a few singles, I think it bodes rather poorly for a band that is as talented as Interpol.

The light at the end of the tunnel might just be the closing track, “The Lighthouse”; a slow, nearly haunting piece that momentarily shows us a band on the cusp of catharsis. Or at least a progression that I hope translates into a truly epic fourth album.

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