The Rapture – Echoes

The Rapture

I feel like old news reviewing this. In fact, I am old news by reviewing this. Everyone who’s anyone has been raving this since (seemingly) the day it dropped. And that includes us, as it was one of our top 10 albums of 2003. I feel as if I’ve dropped the ball by not reviewing it in time for it to be linked to in top 10 lists (Suddenly, and certainly expectedly, he bursts into bawling). Ok, now that my insecurities over this are done with, on to the real review.
This IS some of the best stuff I’ve heard in 2003, even though it’s now 2004. Who else mixed a disco ball, The Cure, indie rock, and techno in 2003? Or ever? But be warned: while there are forays into out and out indie-rock (“Heaven”) and pop (“Open Up Your Heart”), this is a techno/disco album with indie rock on the side. The techno junkies out there will probably lambaste me for not knowing what ‘real, good techno’ is, but heck, I don’t care. This music is frickin sweet.
The Rapture’s techno is done the way I feel all techno should be done: dark, thumping, hooky, and undeniably funky. A reverbed wail of a voice accompanies the thumping bass lines and unashamed breakbeats, and while it would absolutely suck anywhere else, it marries this disco/techno throwback seamlessly. And also, when there’s no one else playing your genre, it doesn’t matter how good you are. You’re the best!
“I Need Your Love” belongs on a dance-floor somewhere, cause it’s so undeniably awesome that I started dancing in my seat – without care. With other people in the room. The same danceability is true for “House of Jealous Lovers,” which is the band’s buzz song. And rightfully so, as it is the best fusion of indie rock and techno offered, which makes for an experience that takes the cake as the best track here. At least, you think so, until you hear the next track. “Echoes” combines bass boogie, a great cowbell solo (yes, cowbell), and a manic freak-out section that propels this track to the very heights of coolness. And just when you thought there could be nothing cooler than “Echoes,” “Sister Savior” creates new heights of coolness. It’s the most undeniably disco track here, and the leading synth line has got to the best synth line written since the Cars were around. In fact, it’s so cool that I measured all other songs to it. Example: “Is this song almost as cool, or completely nothing near as cool as that synth line?”
When you hear an album that continually keeps producing dramatically better songs as you get farther into the album, you know you have a winner. When all you have to do is play this, flick the lights a couple of times, and instantly be transported to your own private disco, you know you have a winner. This is not just a winner. It’s a bull’s-eye. I’d love to go to a Rapture concert, because it would be so much fun to dance to this and not get stared at. This is definitely the most enjoyable release of 2003, in terms of ‘fun factor.’