“Don’t ever look back” Luke Jenner sings over and over on opener ‘Sail Away’. All very well to say, but if, in 2011, you came across someone who’d never heard of [a]The Rapture[/a], what would you play them? New single ‘How Deep Is Your Love’? 2006’s ‘Get Myself Into It’? No. Something off the first album? Well, yes. ‘Olio’? Nope, try again. Think.
Unfair? [a]The Rapture[/a] have had plenty of time to address this problem. It’s almost 10 years since their Tune That Changed Everything, and five since the underwhelming ‘Pieces Of The People We Love’. Five years in which, say, [a]Arctic Monkeys[/a] have made all four of their albums. Immediately post-‘House Of Jealous Lovers’ (there, said it), [a]The Rapture[/a] harboured grand ambitions, hiring [a]U2[/a]’s manager and signing to a major. But after being dropped by said label, losing their best musician (bassist Mattie Safer), and crawling back to DFA, the air around them in 2011 is hardly buzzing.
They’ve turned to Philippe Zdar of [a]Cassius[/a] for production, which might encourage those who prefer [a]The Rapture[/a] as straight-ahead electro-dance troupe. But that was never the point of the band, and anyway, the closest they come to full-throttle bangers is a run towards the end of ‘Children’, ‘Can You Find A Way?’ and the single. Before that, ‘Miss You’, ‘Blue Bird’ and ‘Come Back To Me’ elicit the same response we had to [a]The Strokes[/a]’ ‘Call Me Back’ and ‘Two Kinds Of Happiness’: for songs that have taken half a decade to arrive, they sound far from finished.
The lyrics, too, reek of a lack of inspiration: “You’ve got me flying through your love” (‘Never Die Again’), “Come to me, stay with me” (‘Roller Coaster’) and, worst of all, ‘It Takes Time To Be A Man’: a half-finished indie band-do-[a]R Kelly[/a]-slow-jam that finds Luke Jenner stating that, “There’s room in your heart, now, for excellence to take a stand”. I mean, really…
This is a book that needs to be closed now, sadly.