Friday, October 26, 2007

Music Review: Interpol - Our Love to Admire

I am a huge fan of Interpol ever since I was given a copy of Turn on the Bright Lights a few years ago. It should not be surprising that many critics still consider their debut full length album as one of the defining moments of indie rock. Controversially I think it is better than Hot Fuss, Silent Alarm and The Decline of British Sea Power combined. Their second album Antics continued the perfection, albeit in a more cheerful manner, and was just as well received that for three years I looked forward to the suited one's third album.

Our Love to Admire was released a few months ago but due to lack of time (I was moving) I only had the chance to finally listen to it properly over the last couple of weeks. And I am glad to report that the New Yorkers do not disappoint. Their brand of post-punk revival laced with darkness isn't apparent any longer. The change is similar to when The Killer's Sam's Town when compared to Hot Fuss. Our Love to Admire is certainly different to Antics and Turn on the Bright Lights and takes time to adjust, but after a couple of listens it just hits you that this is Interpol and it is good.

Production quality is superb and sounds are pleasingly crisp clean, which isn't surprising considering the producer's Rich Costey indie experience (which includes Muse's wonderful Black Holes and Revelations). The sound of confidence is definitely present as are the ever increasing detail. The album is more 'radio friendly', but is less 'poppier' than say, some of Muse's recent offerings or say Bloc Party and Arcade Fire. Our Love to Admire as a whole is more downbeat and slower as the Six Feet Under wannabes try something different. Rest assured that for most part the majority of tracks tread familiar ground with even more bass melody and choppy guitar thrown in for good measures. Lyrics are however more positive and less gloomy.

The album opens up with a rather meekly "Pioneer to the Falls" that happens to be one of the weakest song in the album, sort of like a slow version of "Evil" but fans will almost immediately be reassured by the Paul Banks vocals. Fortunately Interpol manage to pull through and the next couple of tracks starting with "No I in Threesome" are awesome. "No I in Threesome" for example of a classic Interpol song. The patented upbeat and energetic style continues into "Heinrich Manoeuvre" which apes fan favourite "Slow Hand" from Antics. I understand that "Lighthouse" and "Wreaking Ball" aren't fan favourites but I love both. They reminds me of the melodramatic "Stella Was a Diver...". Not the same obviously but equally in its epic'ness.

Our Love to Admire isn't a genre defining album, but fans of "Evil", "Untitled" and "PDA" will be delighted as there are plenty of classic Interpol sparse and choppy guitar in this, plus new sound to those open minds who prefer experimentation. The record may be more accessible, but it isn't any less admirable.

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