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Echoes

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The Rapture 10/21/2003

Review

One 12", produced and released by the DFA, transformed the Rapture from a benign indie band into hot hot sh*t. Once "House of Jealous Lovers" -- a horrifically mangled jolt with a viscous rhythmic vroom as dynamite as anything from the late-'70s U.K. post-punk bands -- took hold in the underground, anticipation for this album built, built, and kept on building. Has the wait paid off? Yes and no. It has, in a sense, because that single seemed like a case of capturing lightning in a bottle -- a one-off that would define an otherwise extremely average band -- and Echoes ably proves that it was no fluke. The wait hasn't paid off, in a sense, because hype turned Echoes into a monolithic event when, in truth, it turns out that only half of it proves "House of Jealous Lovers" to be no fluke. The lesser half nearly chokes the album, as it casts the Rapture as the same rickety band that it was before the rebirth. "Open Up Your Heart," daringly placed as the third track, is a hollow, momentum-killing piano ballad; on "Love Is All," multiple Southern boogie elements prove to be a mismatch; "Infatuation" closes the album with a murmur. Another detracting feature is the overuse of Luke Jenner's Robert Smith, which is oftentimes more glaring than Paul Banks' Ian Curtis and Jack White's Robert Plant put together. However, when the band is on, it is on. Nearly toppling their previous best, "I Need Your Love" is propelled by a relentlessly thumping backbeat, an unshakable keyboard vamp, and gurgling keyboards -- it's the band's second stroke of indie-dance genius. "The Coming of Spring" is another frantic neo-post-punk slasher, with wonderfully needling guitars cleaved by a Nuggets-worthy breakdown. Lastly, opener "Olio" will be pure heaven for those who secretly wished that Chicago house legend Larry Heard would one day swap out Robert Owens in favor of Robert Smith. These flashes of greatness don't quite add up to what could have been, but the album as a whole is still quite exceptional. ~ Andy Kellman
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Olio The Rapture 5:20
  3. 2 Heaven The Rapture 3:48
  4. 3 Open Up Your Heart The Rapture 5:22
  5. 4 I Need Your Love The Rapture 4:40
  6. 5 The Coming of Spring The Rapture 2:43
  7. 6 House of Jealous Lovers The Rapture 5:5
  8. 7 Echoes The Rapture 3:7
  9. 8 Killing The Rapture 3:37
  10. 9 Sister Savior The Rapture 3:42
  11. 10 Love Is All The Rapture 4:15
  12. 11 Infatuation The Rapture 5:0

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