INTERPOL – Our Love to Admire

Interpol goes hard but stays true to their sound on their third studio release

On their third release Our Love to Admire Interpol sharpens up its jagged edges to produce a focused direct and layered album rich in its sound and lyrics and moody in its feeling. The quartet from New York have been a fixture on the indie rock scene since their inception in 1998 and are very much a product of that dark underground New York scene of years gone by. Their recent tour of Canada provided fans a glimpse of some of their new material most of which appears on Our Love to Admire. Interpol is still creating lingering poignant and charming songs but it seems that on this album their process has been refined and honed to such an extent that they can experiment with different sound effects and instruments without losing any of their sincerity. The sharp guitar work is still surrounded by dense atmospherics brought to life by Carlos D’s sinewy bass playing. Our Love to Admire starts with the track “Pioneer to the Falls” which is touching and a bit theatrical but beautiful in its melodrama. Lead singer Paul Banks’ intense vocals are ominous affected and have the emotional intensity and controlled croon of a Gord Downie or Michael Stipe. “The Heinrich Maneuver” the album’s first single asks “how are things on the West Coast?” and is reminiscent of Interpol’s earlier work — catchy in a moody broody and lovely sort of way. “Mammoth” is an angry ode to a relationship gone wrong with layered guitar work beautiful melody and the aura of a possessed organ in church. The sexy “All Fired Up” builds moodily and progressively into a wicked track that is both languid and restless. Lead guitarist Daniel Kessler is out in full force displaying his precise and angular style on the rocking “What Do you Think?” “The Lighthouse” is the last song of the album and mixes electric guitars and Mexican-style mariachi strumming to unexpectedly lovely effect. When Banks’ vocals break through the haunting guitars a song emerges that is as turbulent as it is serene and a very fitting end to a great album. If one criticism could be levelled at Our Love to Admire it’s that at times some of the songs sound quite similar in their progressions and as a result the performances sound detached. But it is an ambitious album that pulls off Interpol’s melodramatic brooding style while avoiding any clichés often attached to those expressions.