Interpol’s major-label debut, Our Love to Admire, isn’t as monochromatic (or monotonous) as its previous two albums. Opener “Pioneer to the Falls” is arguably the richest song the band has ever recorded, a track that channels the stormy textures of the Cure’s Pornography. Death-march piano and woodwinds add countermelodies, a quivering mass of strings swells in the middle section, and horns pipe in at the end. As usual, singer Paul Banks presides over this record like a stern preacher addressing his congregation — though the forceful, R.E.M.-like “Mammoth” finds the stentorian singer breaking a sweat, and he’s in creepy-boyfriend mode on the cinematic highlight “No I in Threesome.” In fact, Admire often resembles a movie score. Nearly three minutes into “Wrecking Ball,” the song nearly stops dead and continues as a quasi-instrumental. Mournful guitar, synths and horns (along with faint vocals) slowly build and wind around one another as in an Explosions in the Sky song. The slow, understated “Lighthouse” is equally lush. Reminiscent of Nick Cave’s somber sea-songs, it suggests the quiet of sleeping on a boat in the middle of a lake. Admire covers the entire black-through-white palette instead of just a few shades of gray.

Categories: Music