The Rapture In the Grace of Your Love Review
Bursting onto the music scene in the early 2000s, The Rapture claimed their place at the forefront of a new movement of dance pop-punk. Five years since the release of their last album, the band has finally brought a new offering, the eleven track In the Grace of Your Love.
Veering away from the house-focused debut, Grace opens with the finest track on the record ‘Sail Away’. With its pounding, drums and throbbing synths, the euphoria of the track is undeniable. The collision of crashing instrumental, and desperate vocals come together to create a glorious rushing indie-dance track. Meanwhile the edginess of the title track meets Luke Jenner’s quivering vocals, creating an eerie, shivering track. The bands ability to transcend musical allegiance is confirmed by ‘It Takes Time to be a Man’. A beautiful, Sunday morning of a track, here the group achieve a smoothness previously unexplored. Whilst the lyrics may lack artistry, the lilting delicate piano refrain and stripped back feel ensures this remains a gentle, buoyant closing number.
Yet in spite of several strong tracks, Grace is plagued by poor songs which fall short of expectations. Weak moments notably include ‘Come Back to Me’ which employs an instrumental reminiscent of a cheesy, Eurovision entry, and ‘Never Die Again’, which remains, for the most part, an unengaging disco track. Meanwhile whilst, ‘Miss You’, and ‘Can You Find A Way’, are founded upon punchy bass lines, the promise of a memorable dance track falls short. Instead we are offered songs which, though catchy, are far from the astounding output we have come to expect from The Rapture.
Whereas they have previously created a potent mixture of dark, moody cool, clashing with a sense of light-hearted spontaneity, Grace, fails to achieve the tightness of their previous offerings. With neither the so-hip-it-hurts aura of their debut, nor the funkiness of their follow-up, the band’s latest album seems undecided in what it wishes to achieve. Ditching darkness for exuberance, yet paradoxically striving to maintain a seriousness that has thus far evaded their previous work, Grace becomes a schizophrenic record that is far from a continuation of its predecessors.
However this is not to say this album is without its moments of brilliance. Indeed the precarious balance between vocal and instrumental that is so difficult to attain within dance tracks is continuously maintained by The Rapture with an effortless ease. Jenner’s wailing vocals clash incredibly with rising synths to produce a sense of liberation that reverberates throughout the majority of the record. Though at times they have seemingly lost their way, their mastery in manoeuvring between electronic and indie-rock cannot be denied. Yet from a band who declared their latest work would be “100 times better than the ipad”, Grace falls short of the group’s previous accomplishments. In its own right, their third full-length album can be considered a catchy, pulsating contribution to the dance-punk world. Yet from a band who have scaled the dizzy heights of NYC cool, the knowledge that they have so much more to offer casts a disappointing shadow over the album.