There are a gross amount of New York bands to sift through, but The Rapture is one of the few that easily stands out. So it's surprising that the trio (formerly a quartet before bassist Mattie Safer quit), consisting of Luke Jenner, Vito Roccoforte, and Gabriel Andruzzi (are you picking up on the Italian vibe yet?), waited an obscene five years to release their third full-length album, In The Grace of Your Love.
The much anticipated album opens with "Sail Away," an appropriate title to kick off a record that features a body of water on its cover, and to usher you into the world of dance beats and ambrosial vocals through which you'll be floating. In his ardent manner, Jenner decrees, "These people, they don't know how it feels with you/I look away/I see sadness, I see pain/But with you I see hope." Already gutting you emotionally on the first track, The Rapture continues the motif on "Miss You." Though this time, the band uses the reverse pattern of upbeat music with lyrics that lament:
"Always thought I could forget you, but I can't forget you. When I see your face it just tears me up inside. I wanna run, I wanna shake off this feeling I have for you. Why can't you let me go? What did I ever do to you?"
"Blue Bird" is the first track on the album to set a tone that isn't about either love starting anew or love gone wrong. It's more like a motivational assertion, repeating, "I'll see you on the other side." Who knows? Maybe The Rapture's hoping for this 2012 thing to pan out. Anyway, track four on the album, "Come Back to Me" is the point where my brain almost exploded because of how staggering the combination of the plainspoken cadence and electro sound is. The chorus of "Come Back to Me" inquires sincerely, "Aren't we all children?" The answer is obviously yes.
Next up is the track for which the album is named for, "In The Grace of Your Love," beginning with strong percussion and keyboard stylings. The message of the song seems to express that rare relationship where love is unconditional: "In the grace of your love, you don't turn me away." Track six, "Never Die Again," is one of the more lackadaisically toned songs and serves as a good midpoint to bridge us into the latter half of the album.
"Roller Coaster" is a palpably more melancholic song as Jenner repeats the words "roller coaster" over and over again before rehashing, "'Your life's a roller coaster,' she said. 'And I want to get off. It's just hurting my head and I want it to stop.'" "Children," however, immediately picks up the light-hearted tone again. I suppose any song called "Children" would have to do that--unless it was like some creepy observation from a pedophile's perspective.
Before you know it, we're at track nine, where the question duo commences. "Can You Find A Way?" asks: "Can you find a way to love yourself? A way to let yourself go? Maybe if you tried it, you would even like it." The second question in this brief series of question songs comes at track ten and asks: "How Deep Is Your Love?" And it briefly mirrors the opening to what a modern day Haddaway song would sound like, giving you some indication of how goddamn good is.
With every song averaging at about five minutes, stopping at the eleventh track, "It Takes Time To Be A Man," appears to be a wise decision. The momentous finale is the closest The Rapture will ever get to sounding like the Steve Miller Band. Of course, with a title like that, it's not shocking that there's a vibe of Steve Millery (a noun that should be real). The random and lazy sounding arrangement on this song creates the ideal effect to conclude the Philippe Zdar produced work of genius.