Interpol seemed to burst from the forehead of David Bowie circa 2001, a New Wave nightmare come true: glittery goth guitars, an animal-nitrate rhythm section, Paul Banks' brilliantly idiotic poetry and the funniest gay-bullfighter fashion crimes since Bryan Ferry discovered capri pants. These days, the night-crawling New York boys are sounding a lot like R.E.M., and Our Love to Admire is their version of R.E.M.'s Fables of the Reconstruction; after an epochal debut and an aggressively electricfollow-up, here's the solid, understated third album that digs in without trying to break new ground. Some songs hit right away, like the manic "Mammoth" and the icy ballad "The Scale," where Banks snarls, "I made you, and now I take you back." But it takes some time to sort the growers ("All Fired Up," "Pace Is the Trick") from the losers ("Rest My Chemistry"). And for those of us who savor the convolutions of Banks' lyrical drivel, there's "No I in Threesome," which turns out to be not a Fall Out Boy outtake but a stomach-challengingly sincere love song ("Babe, it's time we gave something new a try"). It proves Interpol areone band that should never attempt coherence.
star ratingRandom Access Memories
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