The Rapture: Pieces of the People We Love

The Rapture
Pieces of the People We Love
Universal Motown

To enjoy the new Rapture album, it helps to ignore the following peripheral factors: dance-punk's relevance or lack thereof, the record's potential target audience and/or what sort of haircuts they may have, what's going on with the DFA right now, Williamsburg in general, what sort of iPod ads the songs may be suited for, the laughable cover, and everything you read on internet messageboards. Paying attention to any of those things will probably give you the idea that this is an inane commercial sellout intended primarily for superficial idiots. It may also mislead you into thinking that the phrase "more like the Crapture" is clever. Please don't.

In the end, the Rapture make dance music, and while Pieces of the People We Love might be an embarrassment in all those useless peripheral expectations, it moves like clockwork when it comes to the important one. The record's full of stabs at gleaming Top 40 luxury: There are ultrapop vocals and post-Annie candy synths all over the indie-boy-Kelis of "Don Gon Do It," "First Gear" is trashy chant-along muscle-car electro, and Danger Mouse throws in a couple of productions that, like his work on Gorillaz' Demon Days, turn rock cliché into displaced, forced-smile neurosis. There are still signs of abrasion from the band's earlier work: Luke Jenner is still wailing—it's just that he's wailing a lot more na-na-na choruses and meaninglessly catchy paeans to getting down (with bassist Matt Safer acting as his more subdued vocal foil)—and the bandsaw guitars that ran rampant on Echoes return on this record to cut through the polish. Accuse me of having tunnel vision, but I'm with the superficial idiots on this one.

 
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