Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Rapture - In the Grace of Your Love

DFA White Out Sessions - How Deep Is Your Love? by The Rapture from DFA Records on Vimeo.

Dance records are typically coated in layer after layer of sound, tracks of synth piled atop one another like a cake with so much icing that it oozes through the sides. The Rapture doesn’t subscribe to that philosophy. They never have. An undone quality washes over their songs, giving them some edge. “Come Back to Me” sets the dance party underground, in the sewers, where you can hear the water dripping between the sparse beats. What sounds like a street musician playing an accordion on a pitch-black night is adorned only by a series of hollow club beats and sets of lyrics where meaning is lost among the repetition. The title track has a similar simplicity, a sexy bass groove guiding a three-note keyboard pattern and frosty cymbal-heavy drumming. It builds to a climax, only to end with weakened vocals and a barely-there electronics. “Never Gonna Die Again” and “How Deep is Your Love” use the less-is-more format to The Rapture’s benefit, crafting hip-moving grooves that spring alive in all their disco glory. Elsewhere, however, The Grace of Your Love feels like a shell of a former dance party, bare and echoing through an empty room. There’s a demo-like quality on these songs instead of the immediacy required for total immersion. The album closes with “It Takes Time to Be a Man,” a slow-moving ballad that moves too slow with too little emotion. If growing into men is what this trio is attempting, they may be better off reverting to childish ways. Gone is the cowbell-crazy spontaneity that pounds through “House of Jealous Lovers” and “Whoo! Alright Yeah...Uh Huh.” Put this cake back in the oven; it doesn’t need more icing, but it could use more substance.

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