Record Review: The Rapture

The Rapture
In The Grace of Your Love
New York, NY

“Intense grooves and forlorn vocals”

The Rapture’s In The Grace of Your Love is their third full-length album and first in five years. Bassist/vocalist Matt Safer has left the band, which leaves Luke Jenner as the lead vocalist. Gabriel Andruzzi takes over on bass, with a much softer sound, in addition to his normal keyboard, percussion and sax duties. Vito Roccoforte continues on drums, showing pizzazz with various offbeat rhythms and splashy cymbals. Jenner’s guitar is less of a focus than on previous releases, and the overall sound is more open than The Rapture of old. This different, less dense approach allows a lot more variety in musical styles, vocals and harmonies. Lyrical themes range from extreme happiness to preoccupations with death.

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LISTEN NOW: “How Deep Is Your Love”

[audio:|titles=The Rapture – How Deep Is Your Love]

On opener “Sail Away,” Jenner sounds so earnest, one can only stop and listen to his pleas. About a minute from the end, the song turns instrumental and entirely different, mostly organ with an occasional sax burst. “Miss You” begins the inevitable dance music with its intense groove and forlorn vocals. “Blue Bird” takes Jenner in a new direction with its high harmonies, falsetto and early ’70s sound. This track could create a wider audience for The Rapture in today’s nostalgic scene.

Safer’s presence is missed most on “Come Back to Me,” although Jenner does a good imitation of Safer’s style while an accordion creates the countermelody and Andruzzi’s bass grooves with the lyrical melody. “Never Die Again” could be quite at home in a roller disco, with its Bee Gees harmonies and short guitar chord spurts, horn parts and disco high hat/cymbal riding, creating the most dense sound on the album.

The Rapture released “How Deep Is Your Love?” as a free download on Facebook recently. It shows Jenner’s ability at singing soul, however it’s mostly a dance track and a bit repetitious compared to the other tracks. “It Takes Time to Be A Man” ends the album, and features a catchy, repeating piano riff similar to The Jackson Five’s “ABC.” (DFA Records)

Produced by Phillipe Zdar

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