Our Love To Admire


Capitol, 2007


REVIEW BY: Sarah Curristan


I suppose there is nothing more pathetic than an eighteen-year-old girl gushing about her favorite band, but detaching myself from the situation (and the ridiculously hot picture of guitarist Daniel Kessler sitting on my desktop background), Interpol is undoubtedly one of the most innovative bands around.

On seeing them at Dublin’s wonderful RDS this past December, I only had their first two albums, 2002’s Turn On The Bright Lights and Antics, released in 2004. But it was hearing Our Love To Admire live that really sucked me in. I don’t think I’ve ever been as captivated by an unfamiliar album. What makes Interpol Interpol is that distinct melancholic sound that doesn’t just stop at the ears, it goes right through you.

The album transcribed well from the live experience to CD. It is more somber than its predecessors, but it’s not a collection of songs – instead,  it’s that rarity nowadays that is a truly cohesive album. Led by Paul Banks’ distinctive, achingly bare and simplistic vocals, they can’t help but tug on the heart strings, while Kessler’s guitar moves it up a gear and achieves a more melodic sound. Interwoven with the “downer songs” are the more upbeat “The Heinrich Maneuver,”,“Mammoth,” “All Fired Up,” and “Who Do You Think?” Can’t have it all glum, can we? my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

It’s hard to decide whether the primary narrative on this album comes from the music or the vocals. The trademark abstract lyrics are present, punctuated with little gems. With Interpol, though, it’s always a case of not what’s being sung, but how it’s being sung. Take, for example, the build-up to the gut-wrenching “You fly straight into my heart” verse of “Pioneer Of The Falls” or the dejected, bittersweet line, “Feel the sweet breath of time / It’s whispering it’s truth not mine / There’s no I in threesome,” in the following track, or the just plain despondent closer, “The Lighthouse.”

A side note about “The Lighthouse:” it is a prime example of Interpol’s music taking the form of a narrative with Kessler’s guitar mimicking the sound of waves. The lyrics aren’t what you’d call an improvement on previous albums, but hey, if it ain’t broke ,don’t fix it.

I’ve often heard people say that the album should have just ended with “Wrecking Ball,” omitting “The Lighthouse.” Disgraceful. It’s arguably one of the most beautiful songs here, but I can see why it wouldn’t appeal to some. It’s very distant, but in that way it serves as a lull back to reality.

All in all, Our Love To Admire hasn’t left the player much since its welcoming into my collection. It’s not an album with which you upload a song or two to your iPod; rather, it’s a keeper; one you listen to when you need something New Age but bluesy, or just to unwind to a good sound. It has, what in my opinion are the three success points of an album: doing the band justice, more than satisfying the vets, and having the power to rope in the newbies. Definitely recommended -- Our Love To Admire won’t disappoint.

Rating: A

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© 2008 Sarah Curristan and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol, and is used for informational purposes only.