The Rapture: In the Grace of Your Love (DFA) 

You don't want to like a new album by The Rapture. The millennial "dance-punk" thing was ridiculous, and is responsible for the existence of bands like Cobra Starship and The Bravery. You remember "I Predict a Riot," which predicted nothing. Sometimes, when you're doing the dishes, you think you hear the dyspeptic wail of Brandon Flowers echoing out of the drain, under the sound of the rushing water. It chills you.

When you first heard Echoes, you liked it, though you found it a bit too smug and dystopian. And, yes, maybe there's a kind of moral vacancy at the heart of such a sound—it's music for pretty assholes who wear decorative scarves and don't like to smile.

It's weird, then, the way In the Grace of Your Love opens with a disarmingly heartfelt ballad, "Sail Away." Like Robert Smith before him, singer Luke Jenner delivers everything with an operatic flourish that should shatter under the weight of itself, but doesn't, thanks to a bit of vulnerability. When he says, "With you," he sounds like he means it, which makes all the difference.

Next comes "Miss You," which might be a perfect distillation of the band's ideas—the pulse of disco married with the basement squalor of "Louie Louie." "Respect what I say," Jenner says, which is very Donna Summer of him.

Around halfway through—around "Roller Coaster," a children's picture book of a song—you realize you may just love the new Rapture album.

More by Sean Bottai


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