Review Summary: A short yet euphoric burst of angelic choir-dance-pop.
What makes Pat Grossi so engrossing is that he’s an incredible singer who’s actually conscious of his incredible range. The man doesn’t even need music supporting him, he could easily go acapella and just belt out symphony after symphony that would outclass every other artist in the neo-soul scene. Grossi knows restraint though, and he has such a love for ethereal atmospheres in his music that he isn’t concerned with making his immaculately articulate melodies the selling point of his songs. His debut under the Active Child name, You Are All I See
made the display of harps and ambient synths just as much of a priority as the modestly crafted execution of his boys choir-trained voice, and while he never had the intention of blowing a hole through the cathedral with his voice to begin with, Grossi humbles the full extent of his abilities even further on the Rapor
EP in exchange for more versatile music pursuits and diversity in the direction of his catalog.
“She Cut Me” allows light to gradually flourish into the EP like the dawn’s sun causing morning dew to glisten off of grass. Just a brief introduction instrumental and already the scope of the EP is vast as the chirping vocal samples cascade over the shimmering foundational beat. “Subtle” then proves to be an exciting excursion into new territory for Active Child, as after channeling his melodies into a heavily R&B-oriented approach on his debut, Grossi lends his heavenly voice to the post-disco and neo-funk genres. The song is easily the highlight of Rapor
; boasting glamorous production that retains a sense of depth while accentuating the infectious indie-dance grooves. Mikky Ekko contributes a Michael Jackson-esque jounce with his singing, and seals “Subtle” as a prime example of alluring and elegant dance music that prefers class to crass.
Elsewhere, Ellie Goulding teams up for a collaboration with influence and aspiration going both ways on another song with a precisely selected guest feature, “Silhouette.” Having previously put her own spin on Active Child’s sound with her cover of “Hanging On,” Goulding blends with Grossi like a charm, and the two stylistically complement each other wonderfully. The production finds middle ground in catering to what both artists are accustomed to working within, and sounds clean and lavishing without being overly-polished. “Evening Ceremony” closes out the EP as a throwback to the complex and extravagantly layered chamber instrumentals of Grossi’s debut, with church bells and harps chiming along to each other in perfect harmony as Grossi softly croons about intimacy; hitting the right octaves in the most soothing of ways.
Even with only six songs to show for himself in the two years since his debut, the Rapor
EP shows that Active Child is just as effective in its older methods as it is with some fresh new ones. As just a short little bundle, Rapor
succeeds in putting an inventive and stratified take on tidily sophisticated indie-dance music, as well as pushing the ambient-tinged soul of his initial ambitions into more accessible and hooky fields. Grossi may be deliberating limiting his vocal capabilities, but his passion for innovation and desire to reinvent himself and reimagine his sound is roaring loud and true throughout Rapor
from the mountaintops.