Interpol: Our Love To Admire

Interpol | Our Love To Admire (10th Anniversary Edition)

When Interpol arrived, with ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’, they did so fully formed. Not the work of a band trying to find a sound or an identity, their debut album was, like The Strokes’ ‘Is This It’, a detailed mission statement. Which poses the question: where to next?

The answer, for the NYC quartet, was more of the same: ‘Antics’ covered the same ground as its predecessor, but with weaker songs. So, for their third album, the band knew they needed to do something different.  

“When it came to this record, it felt much more like: ‘All right, now people understand this is who Interpol is, this is what we do,’ and now it’s back to that insular environment, purely insular, how we write music. That’s how it was composing the record and recording the album,” Paul Banks told Pitchfork when ‘Our Love To Admire’ was released in 2007. “I wasn’t really concerned with how it’s received or how it succeeds because I just feel beyond expectation, because I’m just very proud.”

Despite the singer’s claims, Banks, guitarist Daniel Kessler, bassist Carlos Dengler, and drummer Sam Fogarino must have been feeling the pressure. Recorded in a big name studio (Electric Lady), with a big name producer (Rich Costey), for a big name record company (their first, and last, for Capitol), the LP has all the hallmarks of a band very concerned with how it’s received and how it succeeds.

But despite the expanded sonic palette (Dengler played a lot more keyboards than before) and bigger production (Costey was just off Muse’s less than restrained ‘Black Holes and Revelations’), ‘Our Love To Admire’ wasn’t really much of a departure. As Banks himself put it at the time: “I think that we have a sound. I think that you can always hear when it’s Interpol.”

And, ultimately, beneath the added gloss and talk of growth, the songs themselves weren’t an improvement on their debut. Only ‘The Heinrich Maneuver’, ‘Rest My Chemistry’, and ‘Pioneer To The Falls’ are a match for breakout songs ‘Obstacle 1’, ‘NYC’, and ‘Say Hello To The Angels’.

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