Our Love to Admire

Interpol’s latest album, Our Love to Admire, is quite difficult to listen to straight through. This isn’t because it’s a bad album; though it’s quite clearly inferior to Turn on the Bright Lights and Antics, it’s still quite good. It’s just that its quality is biased toward its beginning. While the album’s first half is close to on par with the band’s previous albums, the second half is flat, and something that Interpol has never been before: boring.
In keeping with this, the album’s first song, “Pioneer to the Falls,” is also its best. “Falls” melds the catchy riffs of Antics with the foreboding atmospherics of Bright Lights, and completes the package with production that they could only get with a major label (they just defected from Matador to Capitol). It’s simultaneously textbook Interpol and unlike anything they’ve done before. After the somewhat forgettable “No I in Threesome” and “The Scale” comes “The Heinrich Maneuver,” a somewhat peppier version of “PDA,” which, while less enduringly enjoyable than “PDA,” is still a fine addition to Interpol’s singles collection. The bridge (“today my heart swings”) basically makes the song. Next is “Mammoth,” the angriest and most profane song Interpol’s ever done, which works extremely well. Remind me not to get Paul Banks mad at me.
Which I’ll do right now. The sad fact of the matter is the rest of the album is bad. Not actively bad; it doesn’t grate. It’s just boring, uneventful, and not worth listening to. It’s hard to explain this; there’s no commercial reason for them to do this, and this problem didn’t affect Bright Lights or Antics. But it’s present all the still. Don’t get me wrong; “Falls,” “Heinrich,” and “Mammoth” are more than enough to make this a good album. But Interpol can do better. They have, and, I can only hope, they will.

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