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Customer Review

on 14 July 2007
There was a definite fear with Interpol's move from indie Matador to major Capitol and Carlos D's look drifiting from vague fascist of a Joy Division disposition to the look of The Killers that Interpol would turn into one of those bands of a U2/Coldplay disposition. It could be done - remember how great Simple Minds were before the bombast set in, or how bad the Bunnymen were when they tried to do that stuff? Our Love to Admire isn't that vast shift, in fact, it's Interpol as usual, just with a more ambitious, wider sound - vaster production values, but none of that bombast. It's quite refreshing to here a band trying to extend their earlier sound accordingly, so there is essence of Talk Talk in opener Pioneer to the Falls, twiddly post rock shapes on The Lighthouse and Wrecking Ball, and psychedelia on Mammoth, which sounds like Dust-era Screaming Trees playing a Psychedelic Furs song. Our Love to Admire isn't the sellout LP, and Interpol don't warrant those Duran Duran-jibes from the Independent's Andy Gill (especially since they seem to have been borrowed from a member of Battles dissing The Strokes in the Guardian!!). Interpol do sound like bands of yore - Comsat Angels, Kitchens of Distinction, the Furs, The Chameleons, The Sound, the Bunnymen etc - but they still manage to sound a bit fresh and transcend the easy fingerpointing "that comes from there...and there..." that I do with LCD Soundsystem, Josef Ferdinand & Radiohead.

The most epic tracks are amongst the most interesting here, Pioneer to the Falls, Rest My Chemistry and The Lighthouse all push five minutes, perhaps this is a direction Interpol should follow next? The sound has changed, there are lots more keyboards and emebellishments, which might have to do with the drummer having nerve problems, or Carlos D wanting to make soundtracks and listening only to classical (see a recent blog on Guardian Unlimited). I wonder if an instrumental record by Interpol would be interesting? - though I think they like songs and vocals, so like a band like Wire, seem caught between poppier climes and the avant garde, which isn't the worst place to be...

No I in Threesome is unlike a previous record, with a John Cale/Terry Riley style piano and a feel that reminds me a little of early REM, or one of their peers like Pylon (see the wonderful Crazy). Next track The Scale similarly throws the listener, who might be waiting for an Evil or Slow Hands - instead it's a tight mid paced rocker that concludes with an E-Bow solo from Paul Banks that sounds very Robert Fripp...which can only be quite a decent thing? Those who wanted another Antics and not best pleased so far will be appeased with single the Heinrich Maneuver which is a sort of sequel to Evil, with a Pixies-style bassline - though it's even tighter and more angular, veering off into an odd direction - even sounding like the next track. Heinrich even gets away with the line, "today my heart swings", which in other hands probably wouldn't fly. My favourite track and the centrepiece of the album is Mammoth, which appears to be one of the few tracks they're playing from Our Love to Admire on this year's tour - though much of that has been Festival related. Let's hope that more Admire-material is moved into the live set by the time I see them in Birmingham in August! I'd rather hear No I In Threesome, Rest My Chemistry, Mammoth, Pioneer to the Falls, The Scale, Heinrich, Pace is the Trick and The Lighthouse than an older song...

The first half of the LP concludes strongly on Pace is the Trick, which feels like an expansion on directions apparent on earlier joys like NYC, Leif Erikson and A Time So Small. Our Love...goes a bit askew next with All Fired Up, which doesn't quite hang together for me - sounding like several ideas that don't quite fuse together - fortunately Rest My Chemistry is next and returns things back to that high standard. The keyboards are quite ambient, though the second guitar that comes in does sound like that riff from Where Is My Mind by The Pixies!! Who Do You Think sounds like a revisit to the style of Say Hello to the Angels, while the closing duo of Wrecking Ball and The Lighthouse point at interesting directions for the future (whether Capitol will agree with that though...). The last two tracks feel a little shoegaze, a little post rock and certainly not the anthemic directions that some may have expected from a Killers version of Interpol...

How Our Love to Admire will date is another question, but right now it sounds pretty fine and not the dud some reviews are suggesting - I have a feeling some of these songs will be as pleasantly regarded as Untitled, Obstacle 1, or Not Even Jail in the future...
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