Can a secular band make a Christian album? Or, in particular to this case, can a “dancepunk” group make thoughtful and danceable songs about God? In the case of The Rapture and their latest album “In The Grace of Your Love,” I’d have to say yes. Good Lord, yes.
It seems unlikely that a group of four New-Yorkers that had previously released a record under Sub Pop label and cited James Murphy, the mastermind and lyricist of LCD Soundsystem, as a mentor could have anything nice to say about God, or that they could even say he existed in the first place. And when the band’s latest single preceding their new album is a song called “No Sex For Ben” and is featured in “Grand Theft Auto IV” and “Gossip Girl,” it’s even more surprising. And no, “No Sex For Ben” is not due to a pledge to abstinence on Ben’s part.
Doubting Thomas’s, trust me on this. “In The Grace of Your Love” not only has some of the most-dance ready songs in a time when dance music is reemerging as a respected genre again – they also have some of the best examples of what I would consider praise music.
So what happened to these guys?
For frontman Luke Jenner, a whole lot, in fact. In the time between 2006’s “Pieces Of The People We Love” and “In The Grace of Your Love,” Jenner lost his mother and spent lots of time in church. And his latest album reflects that—it’s dark in places, but surprisingly worshipful in others. Not to mention the shocking number of songs that resort to singing Hallelujahs over and over.
For instance, the title track “In The Grace Of Your Love,” with lines like “In the grace of your love / I see you shining inside / In the grace of your love / No one can ever die” or the album’s first single, “How Deep Is Your Love,” which opens with the lines “All the love that you’ve giving me / It helps me see what’s right/ All my life now you’ve given me / A chance to see your light” – could these songs be about anyone but God? Additionally, there’s “Come Back To Me,” a song that welcomes in a loving, mighty spirit with each line.
I’m not calling The Rapture a Christian band, and I doubt they would ever market themselves that way. But I do believe their latest album passes the Phillipians 4:8 test (“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”) This music is true. It’s honoring God. It’s lovely. And it betas a heck of a lot of the “jams” I’ve heard from artists signed by Christian labels. So I’m going to dwell on this music, and I’d encourage you to as well.
By Kati Heng