Interpol's third album, 'Our Love to Admire', sees the band progress from their minimal, indie style, but not always with success. Their 2002 debut, 'Turn on the Bright Lights', was dense, rhythmic and melodic, drawing many comparisons to Joy Division due to their post-punk sound and lead singer Paul Banks' vocal similarity to Ian Curtis. The follow-up album, 'Antics', garnered much commercial and critical acclaim, featuring songs with bigger hooks and a more accessible sound.

'Our Love to Admire's opener, 'Pioneer to the Falls', builds from a simple guitar riff into a theatrical blow-out. It sees Interpol incorporating new instrumentation, from strings to piano, lending the song a lush, atmospheric feel. 'No I in Threesome' is a more typical offering, although with the piano tinklings, bears more than a passing resemblance to recent Coldplay. In a departure from Banks' usual maudlin stream-of-consciousness ramblings, the lyrics are about spicing up a stale relationship.

After the unremarkable and sluggish 'The Scale', 'The Heinrich Maneuver' stands out even more. As the album's lead single, it sports a more upbeat style and is by far the catchiest song on the record. Pounding drums, throbbing bass and relentless guitars create the raucous but elegant sound that Interpol are known for. The lyrics seem to be an indictment of a shallow West Coast actress.

'Mammoth' follows on nicely, an insistent and harmonious song built around the refrain "Spare me the suspense". Minimal by comparison is 'Pace is the Trick'. Guitars echo, Banks croons morosely and the bass thumps, all to an uninspiring effect.

'All Fired Up' steers the mood away from bleak introspection, to more upbeat pastures. It even features a smattering of handclaps, and coupled with the swooping guitars is a snappy, jaunty song.

'Rest My Chemistry' demands attention immediately with sudden crashing drums, but doesn't really go anywhere and sounds like Interpol on autopilot. 'The Lighthouse' has more than a hint of Jeff Buckley, with electric guitar loaded with effects.

The album is let down by a lack of quality hooks, and that strangely danceable quality that Interpol's previous two records offered. The added instrumentations can give 'Our Love to Admire' a bloated feel, compared to the airiness of sound associated with the band. With the exception of a few tracks, this album is notably lacklustre.

Sarah McIntyre

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