Permit me to ramble a moment:
It kind of struck me today, in light of the new song made available yesterday by Interpol, what exactly it is that makes this album so amazing (aside from that all the songs are great, it's sequenced well etc.). When artists (particularly guitar bands, I think) get to that point around the 3rd or 4th album mark, fans have rather unrealistic expectations of their new output; expecting it to be both true to their stylistic roots but also something that feels brand new, exciting and vital. It is, naturally, very hard to accommodate both of these aspects.
Interpol's new material appears to do the former quite well, but not so much the latter (in my opinion, of course). The Strokes' third album tried to mix things up by experimenting with their tried and true formula, but was not met with much acclaim from either fans or critics; goodness knows what their 4th will be like. There are plenty more examples.
You & Me, however, departs coherently from The Walkmen's previous material but also managed to feel as though it was, not so much a reinvention, but a reanimation or a refreshment of their sound, without the stock indie band resort of 'experimenting with electronica' or introducing some grandiose orchestration (You & Me does have some brass/string accompaniment, but it is in very much in the same vein as previous songs such as 'Louisiana' from A Hundred Miles Off and it is neither omnipresent nor gratuitous).
It is all the more remarkable because some people probably wrote them off as band that could put out such an excellent record after they released A Hundred Miles Off, which admittedly isn't the best of albums.
I know there are quite a few fans of both The Walkmen and You & Me on DiS, so I'd be interested to hear people's opinion on it. What makes it such a fantastic album? Do you think they'll pull it off again on their forthcoming release? Does anyone dislike the album? etc.