The Rapture – In the Grace of Your Love

written by: September 6, 2011
Release Date: September 6, 2011


One hit wonders The Rapture return with another full-length, five years after their last installment, Pieces of the People We Love. The love theme continues with In the Grace of Your Love, whose album cover features a boy surfing. Perhaps he is feeling safe and free in the grace of said love.

In any case, the cover doesn’t mean to imply surfing feel in the tunes, a recent indie movement. However, The Rapture has definitely altered their sound to match current dance pop/rock trends. Many tunes are derivative of Cut Copy in particular. This is clear even from the opener, “Sail Away.” A good handful of the tracks feature similar rhythmic and melodic sensibilities.

This is a fairly substantial shift from the sound that the band built their initial success on. They shook the ground a bit in 2003 with “House of Jealous Lovers,” a raucous slab of dance rock replete with a funky, funky bass line and the best use of cowbell since Blue Oyster Cult. Luke Jenner’s off-key vocals fit perfectly as he wailed the simple lyrics a top an undeniably fun groove. It helped usher in the soon-to-be-huge dance punk sound. Echoes was similarly praised on the whole for its fresh style, but had little lasting power.

With the exception of its key single and the title track, the tunes were poorly written or boring. Then when LCD Soundsystem dropped their first full-length, they basically shut down all other dance punk acts because they were so above them all. The Rapture struggled to adjust with their 2006 release and it’s no surprise the band has been practically dormant since.

The most noticeable things about their sound turn out to be the things that work against them the most.

The band’s sound is often overly simplified. There is a lot of dead space in the production that doesn’t fit the atmosphere they are trying to project. And then there’s Jenner’s vocals. This guy tries to have the versatility of James Murphy, but besides the fact that he can’t sing, he really can’t emote. He’s best when he’s just shouting about nothing in particular and only occasionally (refer again to “House of Jealous Lovers”), but certainly that style couldn’t sustain an album’s worth of songs. So the attempts to diversify are understood, though unfortunate in their execution. The results are either dull or laughable.

“How Deep Is Your Love?” is unfortunately not a Bee Gees cover. That being said, it’s easily the strongest track on the album. The thick synths give the track some extra backbone lacking from a majority of the record. The song also has some cool sax work. It will make for a really fun live song.

The only thing there is that the beginning of the chorus, “Let me hear that song” will inevitably sound like “Let me see that thong” to listeners who grew up loving Sisqo’s hit. The descriptive writing in this song doesn’t parallel “She had dumps like a truck,” which may or may not be a good thing.

The album closes with “It Takes Time To Be A Man,” which, as the title implies, is a really cheesy song. The music isn’t bad, and certainly could have been the foundation for a solid song, but the lyrics and weak vocals really kill things. Nothing here is as egregious as Echoes track “Open Up Your Heart” (which astute listeners may recall opens with Jenner sounding a lot like the creepy old pedophile in “Family Guy”), but it’s overall quite boring.

In the Grace of Your Love is not going to reassert The Rapture as a band to pay attention to—and it wouldn’t be surprising if this were their last release altogether—but at least it gives them a reason to hit the road. Their greatest strength has always been their live show, where the weaknesses in the writing are completely overshadowed by the energy of the band. It’s a guaranteed, massive dance party.

The Rapture – In the Grace of Your Love Tracklist:

  1. “Sail Away”
  2. “Miss You”
  3. “Blue Bird”
  4. “Come Back To Me”
  5. “In The Grace Of Your Love”
  6. “Never Die Again”
  7. “Roller Coaster”
  8. “Children”
  9. “Can You Find A Way?”
  10. “How Deep Is Your Love?”
  11. “It Takes Time To Be A Man”