Interpol

Enough with the Joy Division comparisons, already! Joy Division was a fancy-pants band that, aside from a few accessible songs, never connected with the masses like New Order — or Interpol. And neither the Strokes nor Arcade Fire writes as deadly serious pop songs as the New York quartet. (There's nothing serious about the Strokes' oeuvre, and nothing listenable on Neon Bible.) Interpol's third album, Our Love to Admire, meanwhile, contains not a single misfire, with songs as emotionally devastating as getting dumped and fired in the same afternoon. And yet, following in the pattern of their first two albums — themselves both emotionally devastating — the songs are somehow uplifting. On the album's standout tracks, classic-rock radio-worthy power chords anchor choruses seemingly born fully formed: "I made you, and now I take you back," sings Paul Banks on "The Scale." "Today, my heart swings," crows "The Heinrich Maneuver." Stuck on themes of betrayal, addiction and emotional distance, Interpol has no intention of coddling you with its lyrics. To buy into Our Love to Admire is to admit that someday you'll fall out of love. Nothing fancy-pants about that.
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Ben Westhoff
Contact: Ben Westhoff