Release Date: Jul 10, 2007
Record label: Capitol
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Though Our Love to Admire is technically Interpol's first major-label album, the way the band attempted to streamline the gorgeously dark atmospherics of Turn on the Bright Lights into something more marketable on Antics made that album feel more like their big-time debut than this album does. On Our Love to Admire, Interpol spends roughly half their time following Antics' game plan of distilling their sound into readily accessible hooks, and the other half stretching their sound with deluxe arrangements and filigrees like strings, brass, and keyboards (all of which are used to grandiose effect on "Wrecking Ball"). Our Love to Admire's poppy tracks have been polished into black patent leather brilliance: "No I in Threesome"'s jaunty, insistent rhythms and "The Heinrich Maneuver"'s relatively bright, bouncy attack show that Interpol has gotten better, or at least more accomplished, at transforming their sound into singles since Antics.
These are finicky musical times, and the flashes of countless indie darlings have burned out faster than you could clap your hands and say yeah. Give New York-based post-punk outfit Interpol credit, then, for consistently living up to expectations. Their sophomore effort, 2004’s Antics, refused to slump, becoming a genuine chart-pleaser — yet they never sacrificed a lick of devotion to their occasionally droning take on Joy Division’s dour legacy.
There's nothing wrong with Our Love To Admire, not a bit. But Interpol painted themselves into a corner, on two excellent albums before this one, by making it clear that the corner was where they liked it. Their 2002 debut, Turn on the Bright Lights, drew power from its myopic worldview; it was a New York album by incident of chronology, because it was made at a time when New York was still shellshocked and spooky, but it was small, dark and local in a way that made its near-obsessive technical expertise expressive and its dourness oddly inviting.
Interpol's brooding has always pulsed cold and calculated, a measure that only added to the emotional disturbance and damp decadence of the band's still brilliant debut, 2002's Turn On the Bright Lights. With its disappointing and predictable follow-up two years later, Antics, the NYC quartet's shadowy allure all but disappeared, a trend Interpol tries to reverse through orchestration and the rich production of major label debut, Our Love to Admire. Opener "Pioneer to the Falls" builds perfectly, beginning with characteristically bleak guitar and teardrop piano thrusting forward into a symphonic swell led by Sam Fogarino's funeral march.