Deciding the most grievous error with Interpol's major-label debut is difficult. The often aimless and insubstantial songs? The needless production flourishes? Or the failure to maintain the soaring heights and lovely complexity of opener "Pioneer to the Falls?"
Our Love to Admire is an Interpol record. This, we learned from their sleek and seductive sophomore album Antics, means the album should be a certain kind of product (to be reductive: a little Joy Division, a little neo-garage rock, often tight, usually intriguing). Yet, it seems this time around, Interpol strayed, and the result is a subpar album.
"The Heinrich Maneuver" is jittery fun (despite its clichéd kiss-off lyrics); "The Scale" is rapid-fire arpeggios and a groovy rhythm section (that becomes a bit redundant); the guitar whines and hallowed calls of closer "The Lighthouse" are slight and heartfelt (until they are overshadowed and marred by a full-band outro).
Starting to get the picture? Even the good tracks are needlessly flawed.
"Rest My Chemistry" bounces on a nice guitar waltz that is both Buddy Holly and the Pixies, but the song overstays its welcome; "Mammoth" often sounds too Spinal Tap for comfort; and the rather enjoyable "No I in Threesome" doesn't mix its sincerity with its lyrics (or title).
Ultimately, Interpol is too good to release a paltry knockoff like this. One can only hope the next Interpol record is a return to form.