The Rapture

Pieces of the People We Love (Universal)

The Rapture
No one heeded the call for more cowbell in 2003 like the Rapture, whose hi-hat hijinks and gut-grating guitar played the supporting role in the bandmates' screech-sing, post-punk melee. As the band thumps its way into the latter half of '06, Pieces of the People We Love softens the spasticity and lessens the urgency, with help from board commanders Paul Epworth, Ewan Pearson, and Danger Mouse. It's pretty apparent that there will be no ramshackle "House of Jealous Lovers" reprise.

Luke Jenner's out-of-tune squeal sometimes pokes holes in the full-sound production, but mostly it favors a slightly sleeker, even-toned delivery, especially on the title track. (Oddly, the Danger Mouse-produced track is the least noteworthy of all the songs.) "Get Myself Into It" is the cut most readily recognizable as the Rapture of Echoes, with its disco beats, scrawling guitars, and Jenner's straining vibrato -- and, of course, that cowbell. Only tracks like the grooving "The Devil" and the unyielding beats of "The Sound" stray far enough from the formula to enable us to hear the growth without enduring the growing pains.

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