The Rapture

Pieces of the People We Love

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Review

Produced by the team of Paul Epworth and Ewan Pearson (eight tracks), as well as Danger Mouse (two tracks), Pieces of the People We Love is much different from Echoes in that it's no patchwork (i.e., like four Primal Scream albums condensed into one). Additionally, Luke Jenner's potentially deal-breaking vocal tics of old, especially the Robert Smith-with-a-finger-caught-in-an-electric-socket caterwaul, are kept in check, while bassist Matt Safer's appealingly insolent presence on vocals is ratcheted up to several lead turns. The uniformity of the album is at the expense of clear-cut standout tracks. There are no equivalents to "House of Jealous Lovers" or "I Need Your Love." Just the same, the low points are not as low. Neither Danger Mouse production, despite being two of the album's big selling points, is crucial to the makeup: "Pieces of the People We Love," a glammy rave-up, features some deeply buried background vocals from Cee-Lo, while "Calling Me" is a splattered mess. The Epworth and Pearson tracks, several of which explode with energy (whether fueled by joy or embitterment), are built on the kind of thick low end and non-congealing layers heard in Pearson's extensive remix work for Goldfrapp, Depeche Mode, and Closer Musik. At least two songs are about being in the Rapture. Even if Safer's being lighthearted or sarcastic in "Whoo! Alright Yeah...Uh Huh" -- "But is it lyrical genius or crap rock poetry?/I say the lineage runs Morrison, Patti Smith [spelt "Smyth" in the booklet, snicker snicker], then me," as well as a refrain that mocks their motionless concert attendees -- the sentiments are better off ignored. "The Sound," a kind of modern-day "Have a Cigar," also carries awkwardly antagonistic and jaded feelings. While few things are more dire than listening to a band complain about being in a band, these two songs also happen to contain some of the album's most thrilling moments, careening every which way with ballistic force. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi