Whoo! – The Rapture

I won’t know until December whether I’ll play The Rapture’s In the Grace of Your Love as much as Pieces of the People We Love, whose release if I remember occasioned some snickering and didn’t cause half the impact of the second album and its putatively epochal but okay “House of Jealous Lovers” (a sound in search of a vocal and proper disco beat, but don’t tell Pitchfork). I miss strophes as batshit as “”Whoo! Alright — Yeah… Uh Huh” or “First Gear.” Where the 2006 album relied on the propulsion of rather straightforward post-post punk recombinations of Luke Jenner’s guitar and a tumbling rhythm section, In the Grace of Your Love embraces most of the dismissals hurled at the act over the years: goofiness, deplorable singing, the tension between arena rock and arena disco. Indeed, I still think Jenner isn’t up to the task of singing the likes of “Roller Coaster” and “Sail Away,” especially when his band can’t decide whether to leave him screaming by himself into the mic or helping him carve a Latin-indebted post-house groove as infectious as “How Deep is Your Love.”  Jenner whines and mewls — unfortunate traits in a band of any configuration. But The Rapture, curious beyond its post-9/11 DFA origin, ventures far afield for accordion noises (“Come Back To Me”) and a superb horn arrangement on what can best be described as Kid Creole meets Public Image Ltd collision that is “Never Die Again.” Even “Roller Coaster” boasts a bass line and guitar solo more sinuous than the competition (is there any?).  Post-punk lives!

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