I’ve come to the conclusion that your own opinion of Interpol’s third album is going to be based on what you thought about Antics. From what I understand, there are fans that consider the band’s sophomore release as something fairly worthy. To those people, Our Love To Admire might stand out as a noticeable decline as the band subscribes to the obligatory major-label expansiveness and calculated accessibility.
It’s unfortunate, but if you’ve placed yourself into that category then Interpol’s diminishing returns are going to be in full, glossy view on Admire.
But then there are those, and I place myself as one of them, that feel that Antics was disappointing enough. It was the sound of Interpol revealing themselves to be human and, perhaps, out of those head-turning ideas that completely encompassed Turn On The Bright Lights. So after album number two, Our Love To Admire manages to be expectedly average and woefully forgettable.
Throughout Admire, Interpol culls the basic sound that provided them their initial recognition and refines it into neat little packages, perfectly constructed with the hope that at least one of the eleven tracks will find a wider audience.
For those of us that have already been around for the ride down the hill, the band provides the minimum requirements of forward momentum to make it identifiable. Admire is the album that introduces the obligatory strings, It’s also the album that sounds the most disingenuous: If Turn On The Bright Lights was an accidental masterpiece, Antics the mediocre collection of leftover material from the initial set list, then Admire may be the album that’s either intentionally lowering people’s expectations (“No I In Threesome?!” Are you fucking serious?) or lazily going through the motions (“Who Do You Think?” with its wonderfully appropriate line: “Slow decay / I won’t stop fighting”).
To make matters worse, Interpol’s unsung heroes, the rhythm section, are completely neutered throughout Admire leaving us to dwell in plucked reverb and inexcusably shitty lyrics.
There are moments that hint of former glories: “Pioneer To The Falls” continues the band’s record of great opening tracks with its re-write of “Untitled” and effective utilization of the full spectrum of the studio upgrade; “Mammoth” wonderfully showcases Interpol as a tight new wave band with attitude; “All Fired Up” works a cleverly disjointed guitar part over a nifty double bass line. Unfortunately, these moments are becoming fewer with each album that Interpol releases. If Antics only contained a handful of standout tracks, then fans are advised to maintain a tight hold on to Admire‘s sparse trinkets.
Or better yet: polish up your memory of why you’ve gotten so disappointed with Interpol in the first place by giving Turn On The Bright Lights another spin. It’s still good enough to cast an imposing shadow on all of the noticeable flaws that Interpol seems to be providing us with each subsequent album.
Interpol – “The Heinrich Maneuver”