Pieces Of The People We Love
By: Eric Greenwood
I liked The Rapture a whole lot better back when it blatantly ripped off The Cure and Bauhaus and Gang of Four as opposed to cheesy, cheesy dance music. The Rapture fell off my radar the moment Echoes finally came out. What a colossal letdown. The only thing that initially made The Rapture listenable was its haphazard, brink-of-falling-apart dance-punk cacophony, so now that everything is smoothed over and palatable by trendy, of the moment producers, there is nothing unique or even remotely interesting left. Luke Jenner's whinnying yelp even sounds processed and professional now. Who needs that nonsense? I much prefer his tuneless recklessness. Can this be the same band that wrote "Out of The Races and onto the Tracks?"
I imagine the indie darling status went to their heads after the frothy response to Echoes. The Cure's Robert Smith even invited them along for the Curiosa Festival in 2004. The chance to appeal to a mass audience was clearly too much to ignore. I understand how hard it is for bands to survive, so some level of commercial success goes hand in hand with longevity, not to mention the pressure of following up a critically lauded record. There's a balance to sacrificing your art for commerce, though, and how far you're willing to go. Most bands are a little sneakier. At least The Rapture is being honest in its grasp for radio shares.
It's always so much worse when a band with potential lets you down. I probably wouldn't have so much disgust for The Rapture right now if its earlier records had been this ho-hum, but they weren't. They were exciting and crazy and kind of scary, and you could dance to them and still want to break shit. That's the balance I'm talking about. It's much harder to make artful, cutting edge music appealing to a broad audience than this goofy disco pap. Less cowbell, please.