Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Rapture

  • Echoes [Strummer/Universal, 2003] A-
  • Pieces of the People We Love [Motown/Vertigo, 2006] A-
  • In the Grace of Your Love [DFA, 2011] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Echoes [Strummer/Universal, 2003]
"House of Jealous Lovers" so dominates that it takes a while to glom onto the other uptempo numbers, which means most of them. With headman Luke Jenner flaunting his tortured-romance shtick--a clarion Ian Curtis-Robert Smith hybrid only not really depressed, because he gets off on pretending to be--this is mannerist DOR more accomplished and less sentimental than its sources. Title tune flows out of great hit so naturally you hardly notice the segue, and dig the synthesized train horn that adjoins the saxophone noises on "I Need Your Love." I wish they'd make a pass at Killing Joke's "Change" or Medium Medium's "Hungry So Angry." But more likely Jenner is on the hunt for a hit ballad even as I write. A-

Pieces of the People We Love [Motown/Vertigo, 2006]
Three years of artistic posturing, musical effort and spilled ink went into a rhythm trifle less consistent and commercial than the debut. But the capital expenditures aren't our problem, and the artifact's high spots bury, for instance, the two Danger Mouse tracks. Best is the silliest and busiest, "First Gear"; runner-up the Talking Heads for Dummies "Whoo! Alright Yeah & Uh-Huh." None of it means a damn thing beyond what it is. Which is just what they were trying so hard to achieve. A-

In the Grace of Your Love [DFA, 2011]
Posers have real lives too--really--only it's really hard to care ("In the Grace of Your Love," "How Deep Is Your Love") ***