Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Rapture: Echoes [Strummer/Universal, 2003]
"House of Jealous Lovers" so dominates that it takes a while to glom onto the other uptempo numbers, which means most of them. With headman Luke Jenner flaunting his tortured-romance shtick--a clarion Ian Curtis-Robert Smith hybrid only not really depressed, because he gets off on pretending to be--this is mannerist DOR more accomplished and less sentimental than its sources. Title tune flows out of great hit so naturally you hardly notice the segue, and dig the synthesized train horn that adjoins the saxophone noises on "I Need Your Love." I wish they'd make a pass at Killing Joke's "Change" or Medium Medium's "Hungry So Angry." But more likely Jenner is on the hunt for a hit ballad even as I write. A-