The Rapture The RaptureIn The Grace Of Your Love
Eclectic is too bound a description for The Rapture’s latest release. In the Grace Of Your Love is unbounded: Post-Punk meets Acid House via Gospel, Soul and African Pop. Congolese samples rise and fall, whilst flashes of free-jazz fraternise with suggestions of indie rock. There is a danger of drowning in such fervent collectivism – happily that is not the case here. Its influences inform and enrich the sound – rather than define it. The Rapture do not confirm or concede to a specific scene, but rather cherry-pick elements of many with dexterity.
Despite the disparity of its influences - there is a common force driving In The Grace Of Your Love: exaltation, or – rather appropriately – rapture. In a recent interview, multi-instrumentalist Gabe Andruzzi confirmed that “for this new record, it was important for me to remember that I'm making something to bring somebody joy” whilst frontman Luke Jenner confirmed he “wanted to make something positive”. This consistency of their intention acts as a current, pulling the tributary tracks into a focused, flowing whole. Accordingly, the album is charged with potently danceable tracks that warm the feet and the heart with equal vigour. From the propulsive percussion and yearning synths of the opener – Sail Away – you are exalted. Similarly, Children is blissfully winsome – brim full of heady nostalgia – a soundtrack to slow-motion montages, of rose-tinted mis-rememberences. Phoenix producer Philippe Zdar’s influence is readily apparent in the close harmonies and layered loveliness. Come Back To Me is also destined for the dance-floor with a vocal melody in the chorus that would make Shakira proud, whilst Miss You possesses a hip-shaking swagger reminiscent of ESG.
In The Grace Of Your Love is not – however – purely an exercise in blinkered pop pleasure. Far from it. The ecstatic pop-peaks rise from uneasy chord progressions and muscular rhythms. It is a record illuminated by experience, an emotionally generous work which reverberates with the echoes of difficult days. The title track for example is urgent and affecting – twisting through Cure like, heartfelt theatrics. The penultimate How Deep Is Your Love is particularly wonderful. Emerging from a stabbing 90’s House piano, buoyed by a soulful vocal line and underpinned by a frenzied sax; it thrusts and singes in devastating elation.
With The Grace Of Your Love The Rapture insist on their namesake. Rapture in its literal sense: you are caught up, you submit to abandon. They defy you not to dance.