Nightlife is like a nirvana for the 21st century. It's an escape from all the tension and pain of modern life. During the day we all either sweat it out at our office desks or stare pointlessly at a blackboard just to make something of your life and our time. But when the sun goes down, this all changes. When darkness acures most of us ditch our work suits or college books and head out into the night with friends and loved ones, either to a cinema or bowling alley or even to a nightclub or bar. Most of us just want a good time, we do this by communicating, laughing, dancing around and of course, destroying our liver and a few brain cells in the process. But for all of this, there is always a soundtrack. Something to keep the night alive and to keep you moving.
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you . . . . . . .The Rapture.
The Rapture are. . .
Luke Jenner: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion
Mattie Safer: Vocals, Bass, Keyboards, Percussion
Gabreiel Andruszzi: Saxophone, Percussion
Vito Rocoforte: Drums, Percussion
The Rapture are the ultimate nightime band. They make songs what you can dance to and even 'come down' to (if you know what I'm saying). The Rapture aren't here to inspire you and open you mind with musical innovation and progression. Their just here to have a good time - and so should you.
was released in September 2003 to a large amount of underground media hype and hysteria so it wasn't long before The Rapture were becoming hailed as one of the finest new bands in America. Although Luke Jenner and Vito Rocoforte formed The Rapture together back in 1997. Yes, 1997. Despite releasing the 'Mirror' EP and 'Out Of The Races And Onto The Tracks' on 'The Rules of Attraction Soundtrack' it took The Rapture almost 6 years to record and release 'Echoes'
. So after spending over half a decade in the studio you'd think 'Echoes'
would be an almost untouchable and perfect masterpiece - you'd be wrong.
On a first listen, 'Echoes'
sounds very promising. It's opening track 'Olio'
is a fantasic New Order-influced Electro monster. It builds up with it's catchy drum work and distorted synths. Whilst Luke Jenner's spaced-out vocals go hand in hand with the song (depsite the fact he can't really sing but shhh, we'll come to that later). 'Olio'
is a fantasic opener, it builds you up for the rest of the album or mainly the next track ('Heaven'
). A more Rock-based track with a ramshackle spirit. 'Heaven'
is the sound of The Rapture cutting lose and being themself. The song opens you with the band all chanting ''1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I'm floating in a constant heaven'' shamelessly in their rough New York accents. Then, in less then 2 minutes the song has completly changes again. The band ditch the shambolic funk for a gospel-tinged and almost euphoric ending. It's a song of twists and turns but as you'll learn when you listen to this album, The Rapture love nothing more then to take listeners on a musical rollercoaster. The next twist on in this album is almost a U-turn. As The Rapture ditch Disco-funk for Pop balladry with 'Open Up Your Heart'
'Open Up Your Heart'
isn't at all a bad track, it's just stupidly placed as the album's third track and ruins the flow of the record. A slow tempoed ballad after a stomping Electro opener and a trashy Rock track? end of the album yes, but not less then 9 minutes into the record please. Luckily help is at hand in the shape of 'The Coming Of Spring'
, like 'Heaven'
it has the same Funk-tinged feel to it but has a harder, slightly more anthemic feel to it. The song even uses Tribal drums at one part before buring out in a mist of distortion and screaming.
Next is The Rapture's signature tune, 'House Of Jealous Lovers'
. At it's time of release, 'House Of Jealous Lovers'
became a pretty big hit. Notching up tons of MTV2 airplay and even a top 20 UK Singles placing. Not bad to say it makes a pretty terrible single release. Yeah it's a great song but it's shouty vocals and wirey Guitars aren't exactly gonna sound comfortable next to Fall Out Boy and Kelly Clarkson on your local radio station are they? But in it's own right as an album track 'House Of Jealous Lovers'
is fantasic. It's entertaining, challenging and incredibly catchy. Anyone who wants to know what The Rapture are about can get it right here. The 'I don't give a *** if I can't sing properly am gonna do it anyway' vocals, the jerky 'Cat drowning in a plastic bag' Guitars, the 'Who the hell's Flea?' funk bass and yes . . . the trademark cowbell. Everything you need to know about The Rapture is presented here, in this handy 5 minute long Rave-Disco monster.
For those people with a more commerical taste. I recommend 'Sister Saviour'
. The Rapture's most accessible piece of work to date. Sounding like a cross between (wait for it) Jamiroquai at their most funkiest and Kylie Minogue at, um . . . .her most funkiest. 'Sister Saviour'
is the closet thing The Rapture have to a perfect pop song. Jenner's vocals are tuneful, the Guitar's are clear and Jenner's lyrics reflect everything The Rapture stand for - having a good time (''If I drink myself to death. At least I know I had a good time'')
. But it's the next track that really makes The Rapture shine.
'Love Is All'
is the softest and gentlest track on 'Echoes'
. It's the moment where the party dies down and The Rapture start to come back to earth. But there's more to 'Love Is All'
then that, it's also a great Pop song and an even greater love song. Jenner no longer sounds like a man who's been downing shots of tequlia all weekend, he sounds fragile and emotional (''Love is all my crippled soul will ever need/Sun goes up and sun goes down. I dig love and just having you around''
). Whimsical, soft and beautiful 'Love Is All'
is the hidden jewel from an album of ups and downs.
So there it is, 'Echoes'
- a fantasic party album created by musicians who just want you to have a good time. Sure, Luke Jenner has one of the worst voices in Indie music today, his lyrics can be at times complete pap and his band aren't the finest bunch of musicians around. Still, this band have made some of the finest dancefloor crossovers of this decade ('House Of Jealous Lovers, Sister Saviour, Heaven, The Coming Of Spring
). But, then there's those songs for the morning after. Songs to soothe you in the times when the booze and the drugs have worn off and you're left with a migraine and flashbacks of the night before (Open Up Your Heart, Infatuation, Love Is All
will split listeners and critics down the middle. You'll either love The Rapture's shambolic and often careless approach towards their music or you'll simply just call it a load of ***. But, it'll be rare for anyone to enjoy this record as a hole. It's lack of smooth production and tunefulness will stop it from ever becoming a forgotten classic but hey, if you want musical greatness and lyrical genius stay at home and listen to The Smiths or Radiohead or something. I'll be down at the club with my cowbell if you want me.
Love Is All
House Of Jealous Lovers
The Coming Of Spring
+ The band have a very unique sound
+ Rhythm section work together greatly
- Luke Jenner's voice is terrible
- Too long in places
- Will you please tune that Guitar for the love of god man!
Thanks for reading - Senor Whippy