Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Our Love to Admire by Interpol

Interpol have always been pretty depressing, in a glorious, strangely uplifting way, much like their spiritual antecendants, Joy Division. But now, they're epically, massively, stirringly depressing.

Not to say that Our Love to Admire, the band's third long-player, makes me more or less depressed than either of their previous two outings (actually, Interpol don't really depress me at all, but I am fully aware of the subject matter), but as far as scope and intent go, this is a quantum leap forward, if not so much in structure and influences. Yes, the Interpol of old is here, in spades, droll vocals singing ruthlessly tongue-in-cheek morbidity, aping Joy Division and other suicide-rock outfits of the post-punk era, but there is also a new sensibility, not readily heard at first, but when the ultra-high, ultra-staccato solo kicks in at around 3.10 on the opening track, "Pioneer to the Falls", there is indeed an epic-ness here that is rapidly reaffirmed after everything but vocals drop out shortly thereafter. It's like Chris Martin decided that he GENUINELY WAS miserable about hwo truly awful his life is and suddenly (and simultaneously) decided to devote his powers to good, rather than evil.

And even better, it's subtle. The chiming of a church bell ringing out after the climx of highlight 'Mammoth', the strings (not cheesy or unecessary at all) on 'Wrecking Ball' or the twisted, distorted flamenco and funereal outro on album closer, 'Lighthouse'. This is a band making music custom-built to rock sold-out stadiums without making it look like that's what they're doing, or diluting their worth in any way to achieve it.

Whether this stacks up to the high quality of Interpol's previous two releases is a difficult proposition, all three being very decent records, with subtle changes between each emphasising the band's gradual growth, but this is definitely worth a look, and, one imagines, the place where many new fans will begin their affinity with Interpol.

4 stars

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