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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Interpol -- Our Love to Admire

 photo Interpol_-_Our_Love_To_Admire_zps8215349f.jpg
8/10

After the inconsequential Antics, Interpol's Our Love to Admire packs a little weight back onto their sound. I'd say third times the charm, but in this case, the first time was the charm. Everything else hasn't come close, but Our Love to Admire does have a lot to. It recaptures some of the heavy atmosphere of the cinematic Turn on the Bright Lights, though it lacks that album's dark energy. It also re-claims some of Bright Lights' coolness, amounts of which Antics pissed away with a few of its more disco-esque numbers.
The heavier use of keys, particularly on album opener, "Pioneer to the Falls," does its best to define Our Love to Admire differently from the band's previous work. Most importantly, the band still understand how to use a guitar to create atmosphere. The powerful closer, "The Lighthouse," is a testament to that. Unfortunately, the rhythm section is again marginalized in the mix to Paul Banks' voice, though it does shine in moments. If it sounds like I am going back and forth here, I have to tell the truth:
The first time I heard this album, I hated it. I even accused the band of "not trying." With time, I've come to appreciate Our Love to Admire's finer aspects. I think, more than anything, it made me realize not only how weak Antics is, but how weak anything this band is going to do in comparison to its debut. I hate that I keep coming back to Turn on the Bright Lights. The thing is, if you throw a rock at a car and it explodes, you are going to be disappointed if every rock you throw after that just smashes through the windshield. I want explosions! All the time! I'm a spoiled brat!
On its own merits, Our Love to Admire is a good album. Paul Banks still has a tendency to spout some ridiculous lyrics at times--I am pretty sure "No I in Threesome" was specifically written so that Banks could use the title as the punchline to a joke about trying to convince his girlfriend to partake in one. Most of the rest of the lyrics are fairly stirring, though. As a final complaint, the band can also ignore the advice of "Pace Is the Trick" and follow the just-mentioned song with "All Fired Up," instead of the more fitting "Rest My Chemistry." But who is else going to create this kind of atmosphere while sounding this cool? In 2007, only Interpol could do it, and even if this isn't their best, it is still pretty awesome.
Here's "Wrecking Ball" to prove my point, with a powerful chorus to boot. A really cool boot.

That chorus!

2007 Capitol/Parlophone
1. Pioneer to the Falls 5:41
2. No I in Threesome 3:51
3. The Scale 3:31
4. The Heinrich Maneuver 3:35
5. Mammoth 4:19
6. Pace Is the Trick 4:43
7. All Fired Up 3:35
8. Rest My Chemistry 5:00
9. Who Do You Think 3:12
10. Wrecking Ball 4:33
11. The Lighthouse 5:25

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