After the brilliance of their previous two albums it was hard to envisage Interpol topping what had come before . It was also difficult to envisage the band doing anything radically different and so it proves . They may now be on a major label and that shows with cleaner production( courtesy of Rich Coster) and a more effusive array of instrumentation , but this is music that doesn't much deviate from the Interpol that we all know and love ....except in one respect. Their music has always contained levels of density and complexity rivalled by very few others , indeed that's maybe one of the reasons we all like them ,but Our Love To Admire is so impenetrable it takes real concerted effort to come to terms with . It's worth it in the end but it is very hard work.
There is little indication of this with the opening chiming chords of "Pioneer To The Falls", the most accessible track on the album . The tiny plinking piano notes give way to the usual phalanx of keyboards and guitars that build and build like something very big being built. After that it took quite a few listens , obvious single The Heinrich Maneuver apart-the one song to approximate the imperative urgency of many of the song on Antics- to sink in and for the songs to make sense.
The music is by turns dramatic, tense , muscular , foreboding , grandiose , even a little pretentious but it's never less than exigent and fascinating . Paul Banks continues his renaissance as a man who might just be ready to concede that life does have some fun to offer after all. "Today my heart swings " he cries on "The Heinrich Maneuver" or on "No I In Threesome" he muses on "Giving something new a try". "Mammoth" is well named -a monumental assault of pounding percussion and massively spiteful guitars. "Pace Is The Trick" even utilises multi-tracked vocals and guitars that ring like prime Chameleons .
As is usual with Interpol the album closes in somewhat downbeat fashion with the reverberating arrangement of "Wrecking Ball" , a ballad that treads deliciously between epic , tender and sonically fascinating. "Lighthouse" the final track opens with banks of tremulous guitar notes resonating like gigantic icicles in some prehistoric cavern before descending slabs of percussion and hefty keyboard notes usher the song out over wailing opaque vocal backing . For a band used to delineated structural form this song is quite an adventurous step into intriguing new areas.
Our Love To Admire is a difficult album to come to terms with , or at least it was for me and those used to the more dynamic , linear styling's of their previous two albums may not like it all. I didn't at first but this is actually a bolder, more complex, confident and polished album than either Antics or Turn On The Bright Lights. A bit of a triumph in fact .I not only admire it I love it as well .