The band that launched a dance-punk movement at the start of last decade has aged the past five years album-less. Their absence reached a point where—with the DFA sound thoroughly receding (or retiring, see: LCD), and these guys moving on quietly, entering fatherhood, etc—it just didn’t seem like they’d ever return. Which is what made it all the more thrilling last month, when sax-bearing disco cut “How Deep is Your Love” triumphantly announced all is well in The Rapture camp. Now down to a trio, Luke Jenner and Co have eased off the punk on their fourth album, instead making a few soulful turns, and thankfully still flooring it on the dance. In The Grace of Your Love isn’t the climate-changer that Echoes was, but it’s still nice to have them back.
Some said bold, others said bollocks, when London’s brightest young indie pop-rockers of 2009 followed up their first loud outing with an acoustic folk record in 2010. It was definitely random, but despite mixed reviews, performed well on the charts. Aptly titled, this 3rd release introduces a new, eclectic fix for the band. Easiest way to put it: a confident hybrid—the energy of LP1 with the intricacy of LP2.
Space-bass player Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat connects the stars between futuristic electronic and 1970s jazz fusion. The mind-spinning combination is unlike anything around right now, going heady-jazz instrumental one second, and Stevie Wonder soul-pop the next, all very surreal and complex. A former member of Suicidal Tendencies (2002 roster), Bruner has put his insane skills on the bass to work for some time (also with Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, and Flying Lotus, who co-produced Golden Age), which makes this seemingly ‘out of nowhere’ debut, a bit more believable—certainly still out of this world though.
Produced by Radiohead studio god Nigel Godrich, this 2005 release marked a late career highpoint for solo Sir Paul. He brought a newly reflective tone to those trademark melodies (with lines like “looking to the backyard of my life, time to sweep the fallen leaves away”), and in vintage form, played every instrument heard. While Chaos received a warm reception among fans and critics upon release, its reissue might have come a bit too soon to earn another round of it, especially given the lack of extras.
Recorded during the band’s performance for NPR’s World Cafe radio show, and just one month after bassist Gerard Smith died of lung cancer, this five track EP (three from recent LP Nine Types of Light, and two older staples) finds the famous Brooklyn art-rock band at their most subdued. It matches the feel of Light, which left the brass funk of previous Dear Science behind in favor of a more serene direction. It’s also further proof that whether it’s textured, distorted, horn-backed, or in this case, clean, TVOTR simply write good songs, and can play them live very well.