Always trusted to bring home the bacon with her album releases, “Rapture” is a highly personal and introspective album. Coming from a few albums that were band efforts full of synths and drama, this shift in sound palette to something more piano and vocal based will ultimately help you decide where this album will sit with you initially.
Opening with the bittersweet “Counting The Stars”, you have a gentle and flowing riff that then introduces a reflective and resigned Martin whom slowly intoxicates you from line to line. Her ability to utterly smash your heart on the floor from the get to is always impressive and “Rapture” as a whole showcases this. The lyrics all point to a heart that has been through the ringer and the album centres around this – but that emotion can be taken on a personal or spiritual level and I think what’s great about it is that she’s probably singing about both.
The piano based tracks – specifically “The Long Road”, “Without You” and “When Can I See You Again” are the kind of tracks that take years of craft-ship to write and perform. There are motifs, riffs and some complex piano playing underneath that forego the kind of “I’m making this a SINGLE!” type of mentality. Does this mean that you can feel a little underwhelmed on first listen if you want an easy route in? Maybe – but this are songs that channel feelings that move, transform and slither into your veins and stay rooted to you long after they are finished. They just need some attention first to hook you in.
For those whom love it when Charlotte brings out some beefy synths, the two tracks you’ll dive into are the title track and “Dressing Up In Grey”. Both tracks are dramatic, with the latter being particularly menacing and dark – a personal favourite from the album. If I am being picky, some of the percussion on these tracks feel a little too MIDI rigid, and only Grey brings a real bass line to proceedings. Elsewhere you’ll find the album closing on a brooding piano piece which harks back to the instrumental album Charlotte made many years ago.
Ultimately though, this is a stripped back album about a lady, her piano and her heart. Each of the ten tracks tells a tale of emotion that you’ll get lost in and it’s another fantastic album from one of the most easily “bankably great” singer songwriters of the last 20 years. Long may she reign.
Recommended Track : Without You