4

Interpol

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Interpol's major-label debut isn't as monochromatic as its two predecessors. "Pioneer to the Falls," which channels the stormy textures of the Cure's Pornography, is possibly the richest song the act has ever recorded, with death-march piano and a giant quivering mass of strings adding counter-melodies that swell in the mid-section. In typical fashion, vocalist Paul Banks presides over the track like a stern preacher peering at his congregation. Elsewhere, though, the stentorian singer breaks a sweat on the forceful, R.E.M.-esque "Mammoth" and gets into creepy-boyfriend mode on the cinematic highlight "No I in Threesome." In fact, Admire itself often resembles a movie score. About three minutes into "Wrecking Ball," the song nearly stops dead, then continues as a quasi-instrumental. Mournful guitar, synths, horns and faint vocals slowly build and wind around each other like an Explosions in the Sky song. The understated "Lighthouse" is just as lush, recalling Nick Cave's somber sea songs and evoking the quiet peace of sleeping on a boat in the middle of a lake. Overall, Admire covers the entire black-through-white palette instead of just a few shades of gray.

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