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Album Review
In the Grace of Your Love

In the Grace of Your Love
by The Rapture


Review Date
13th September, 2011
Reviewed by
Courtney Sanders

New York post punkers return to DFA, continue pop rampage.

Everyone who follows the ruminations of DFA records is familiar with the story. The Rapture release 2003 album Echoes on the label and gained international notoriety alongside the likes of The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol as defining a ‘New York Sound’; the compilation Yes New York was released, the ‘sound’ was cemented. Luke Jenner and Co. then signed to Universal, James Murphy started LCD Soundsystem in lieu of a ‘headline’ act on his label and the paradigm shifted: LCD came to epitomize the slacker era of post-punk electronica, The Rapture wrote a pop album, Pieces of the People We Love.

Six years later and everything is in its right place again, or so it would seem. James Murphy has put LCD Soundsystem to bed and is at the helm of a (much bigger, more aggressive) DFA Records, and The Rapture have returned to the label for fourth studio album In The Grace Of Your Love. Like a lot of musicians, The Rapture has used these experiences for creative fodder, ultimately marrying the guttural ruminations of Echoes with the euphoric pop of Pieces of the People We Love (POTPWL), only this time they mean it.

While POTPWL sounded happy, it wasn't. ‘Get Myself Into It’ was (from the horses mouth in a recent interview) Luke Jenner attempting to find inspiration to write in the most literal way humanly possible. As a result, while tracks on the album – ‘First Gear’, ‘Woo, Alright, Yeah, Uh Huh!’ in particular – were fantastic dance floor fillers, they were the perfect accompaniment for a faceless 3am interlude, nothing more; lacking the intensity and edge - arguably refused the band by their now ex-label – to be more credible.

For those who expected a return to punk, In the Grace of Your Love will disappoint. It continues the lineage their last album initiated, but this time with feeling. ‘Sail Away’ – with the same obviousness of ‘Get Myself Into It’ – reneges their major label experience in a layered, synethesized cacophony tied together by elongated Jenner scrawls who also provides company to the instrumental, dance floor breakdowns: it’s as earnest as a Cars single, and almost as engaging. 'Can You Find A Way' is all funk, taking equal notes from current New York residents (although Dave Sitek relocated to California recently) TV On the Radio and David Byrne. The title track tellingly starts in almost exactly the same way as Ace of Bases’ ‘All That She Wants’, proceeding to thankfully introduce a far more intricate rhythm section, an angular guitar section and a vocal performance from Jenner that rivals anything on either POTPWL and their latest outing.

In saying that, these tracks fail to define a movement in the same way anthems tracks ‘House of Jealous Lovers’ and ‘Olio’ did. The band are older and out of touch with the current zeitgeist. While this may be disappointing to fans of the explosive Echoes, The Rapture seem genuinely content with writing at-times interesting euphoric pop tracks and heading home to their families. The question is, are the people who buy their records content to do the same?


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