Pieces of the People We Love – The Rapture

Pieces of the People We Love

The Rapture

Vertigo

2006

Ok so The Rapture was pretty much my first foray into the world of indie-dance music.  They and Junior Senior got me into the world of upbeat electronic, which I’m clearly still into, as my first review for this site was Does it Offend You, Yeah?  So the album I’m reviewing here is Pieces of the People We Love.  Luke Jenner really went nuts on the album, and his vocals are fantastic.  I liked this album so much, that I actually purchased it with money in a tangible format (har har har).  So what we have here is something rare for me.

The album starts off with some vocals fading in, and then the beat comes in for “Don Gon Do It”.  Some of these vocals are weird as hell, and don’t make any sense, but it’s cool because they don’t have to.  The song itself is really simple, but catchy, and really is a good album opener.  It really gets you in the mood to dance, or do whatever (not that mood).  The one lyric that really stands out here is ‘you are so fucked up, I wish you’d die’, if only for its profanity.

One of the beauties of The Rapture is that their songs can be about four minutes long, but they definitely don’t feel like it.  In fact, the next song, the title song of the album, “Pieces of the People We Love” is the shortest song on the album, at 3:43.  The beat is again very catchy, and the vocals have a similar distortion effect as the last track.  The vocals really contribute to the catchiness of this song.  Basically, the point of the song is that we keep things inside, and it slowly kills us.  How positive, right?  Still, this is a very good song.

Next up is “Get Myself Into It”, one of my favorite songs on the album.  Slightly different thing here with the vocals; they’re definitely in the foreground.  This is apparent as soon as we here one syllable.  Which brings me to another point about the lyrics for the song:  the verses have a cool pattern, where the first word/syllable of each line is sustained, and the echo on the last syllable of each line is sustained.  They have the echo on all the vocals here, but, you really notice at the end of each line.

“First Gear” is next, and it’s pretty much the usual formula for The Rapture:  catchy beat, interesting vocals, and an overall good song.  The one bad thing about this song is the fact that they’re talking about Ford Mustangs.  There’s a whole diatribe I have about them, but I’ll spare you the details.  When we have a break in the vocals, and again in later choruses, the beat has this neat change to it, and the new sound is kinda halloween-y (heh heh weenie) to me.  Overall, a good track, but this is the one song on the album that feels kinda long.  And at 6:23, it’s definitely not short.  It’s probably that the bridge is boring and extremely repetitive.

“The Devil” is the first song that sounds like it could probably be completely done with real instruments.  Well, at least for the intro.  The ‘guitar’ part in the beginning is really cool, and a sound I wish they’d carried more on the album.  Can’t win them all, I suppose.  Still, this song is definitely a high point on the album.  The vocals are reminiscent of “Get Myself Into It”, in that they’re sort of yelling at parts.  Also, the chorus is a Michael Jackson-esque high-pitched… um… noise? I don’t know how else to describe it.  “The Devil” is a very solid track, and much to my delight, the intro part comes back near the end, with an actual guitar solo!  I actually had forgotten about this, and it was very much a happy surprise (I’m a sucker for cool guitar riffz/solozzzzzz).

So now the song that, if you know any of their stuff, you recognize from The Rapture.  It was in a Madden game, I forget the year, but it’s damn catchy, and was how I discovered these guys.  “Whoo! Alright – Yeah… Uh-Huh.” is the track name, and it’s so fucking catchy, I can’t describe it.  If this song doesn’t make you want to get up and dance like an idiot, you have no soul.  Seriously.  The lyrics are brilliant, some highlights include ‘This ain’t no laboratory, you’re the cunt’ and ‘Free spirits ain’t settin no-one’s spirits free’.  That second example is talking about free alcohol not making a party good, for your information.  Later in the song, they have a good commentary on how concerts and parties are nowadays.  They say ‘People don’t dance no more, they just stand there like this.  They cross their arms, and stare you down, and drink, and moan, and diss’.  This is very true, as it is like people don’t go to a show to have fun anymore, they just go to drink and bitch about stupid crap.  Personally, I go to a concert to enjoy the music, but I find it a very appropriate commentary.

The next track is “Calling Me”, and I’ve always thought that it was not quite what I want to hear on an album like this.  They slow it down a lot, which doesn’t really fit, so I’m not really a fan of the track.  The hushed vocal distortion is really cool, but the song itself just doesn’t do it for me.

“Down For So Long” is another slower song for the album, but it just has a sound that I like more than on the previous track.  It’s a more upbeat song that you can actually dance to (if you want to, but there’s much better songs for that on the album).  Luke’s vocals are the focal point here, and he really shows he can do a great job on this track.

“The Sound” starts off fuzzy and confusing, but it slowly fades into one of my favorite beats on the album.  The guitar backing is solid, and the vocals really have some power behind them.  It’s not as dancy a song as “Whoo!”, but this song delivers on a different level.

“Live in Sunshine” is the album closer, and it really does have a sound that puts a picture of a sunny day in my mind.  It’s one of those songs where you imagine the lyrics as thoughts in a person’s mind as they walk down the sidewalk on a sunny spring day.  It’s extremely upbeat and positive, and does a good job of slowing the album to a peaceful close.  Again, like “The Sound”, it’s not a dancy song, but it’s not meant to be.  Luke’s vocals sound very familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger on who he sounds like.

So there you are, Pieces of the People We Love, The Rapture’s offering from 2006.  Overall, this is a very good album, with only one or two tracks that will require hitting ‘next track’ part-way through them.  The first half to 3/4 of the album is a great way to jump into indie-dance, if you’re trying to.  I’d definitely say this is one of the better albums of that genre, even four years later.

Official Site

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