It’s been a long time since The Rapture’s last album. Not The Avalanches long, obviously, but five years is a good old stretch. But bugger me, it’s good to have them back – even if this time around they appear to have written the same song eleven times in a row.
Let me explain. The first song on ‘In The Grace Of Your Love’ goes, “Sail / Sail away / With you” and then repeats it over a shimmering disco beat. Track two, ‘Miss You’ goes, “Never thought I would miss you / But oh how I miss you” and then repeats it over a funky, vaguely electro beat. Track three goes… Well, you get the message. The great thing about the album, though, is how little that sameyness matters. Within the template set, they craft many smaller variations. ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ bops around a late-Eighties house piano riff. ‘Never Gonna Die Again’ has a Ting Tings shuffle only, y’know, not shite. It’s also, probably, their best pop song since ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’.
What’s new is the stripped-back, skeletal feel to the music. It’s not a difficult or aloof album, but there is a cool precision that feels different to the choppy punkiness of old. Much of this tone has been gifted by the departure of Mattie Safer and the reinstallation of Luke Jenner at the helm of the song writing, a man whose been through the mill recently and has the wistful songs to prove it. Above all, it feels like a band with a clear idea of who they are, playing to their strengths and reminds you why the whole dance-punk thing sounded like such a good idea a decade ago. Don’t leave it so long next time, eh boys?
Words by Will Salmon