Interpol is evolving, but at a pace so glacial that it might take a dozen albums before anyone but the most attentive fans can readily spot the differences. Our Love To Admire, the third album from the dark-dressed New York band, and its first for Capitol after a career-defining pair for Matador, doesn't break stride. Rumors that the major-label jump would come accompanied by radio-enticing slickness weren't just exaggerated, they were plain wrong. For better and worse—mostly better—Our Love is unmistakably another Interpol disc. In other words, Internet chatters can keep saying that the band sounds exactly like Joy Division, and they'll still be pretty much half right. (And all boring.)
Our Love To Admire starts strong and ends weak, but leans toward the former through an economical 11 songs. "Pioneer To The Falls," the opener, offers Interpol-by-numbers in the best way, with epic aspirations meeting spooky, smoky grandiosity; it builds and winds smartly to a climax, touching on each of the band's strengths. The album-closer, "The Lighthouse," goes the other way: It's nothing but an overly simple guitar strum and Paul Banks' talk-sing, and it proves that, at least in this case, it's unwise to fix what ain't broke. Absolutely unbroken in between: the slick, rocking "The Scale," the obvious single "The Heinrich Maneuver," and the mammoth "Mammoth," one of those Interpol songs in which the music makes Banks' sometimes questionable declaratives ("enough with this fucking incense!") sound great—almost sensible, even. And as with Interpol albums past, some songs beg to be skipped, including "Lighthouse" and the slightly groan-inducing "No I In Threesome," which lyrically begs for its titular activity. But on the whole, Our Love To Admire delivers exactly what's promised, which for fans will be exactly enough. Interpol: A Brand Name You Can Trust?