on 1 September 2005
It saddened me to see the negative reveiws of this very listenable album so I decided to write my own and here it is: True this album is not the Banshees best, but it has many wonderful songs I would not be without like Fall From Grace, Sick Child, Not Forgotten, Love Out me which is one of their characteristic end of album 'last hurrahs' and The Rapture (not to say the other songs are disposable). The Rapture is an amazing song and I don't want to go all gushy but you should buy this album for that if nothing else (it is especially fabulous live). This album is one of the few I can listen to on a continuous loop because the first song is so different from the last. Not an album to get if you're just starting to get into Siouxsie and the Banshees (try Tinderbox it's a stunner), but if you already like them and you don't own this yet, why not?? There is no excuse, buy it now. If you're still on the fence I'd advise you to google for the lyrics to a couple of the songs. Poetry.
on 22 November 2001
In similar vein to the latter albums (Peepshow, Superstition) but by far the most enduring, - their post-goth style now fully mature, personal rathen than 3rd person, cutting without a trace of being experimental & retaining their trademark power to take the familiar and give it an unnerving edge.
As along time follower of this band, tracks like "Stargazer", "Sick Child", "The Rapture" and "Double Life" are ones that I would not be without
on 23 May 2012
Despite the numerous negative reviews surrounding this album, I found it very listanable and enjoyable. True, it is different from the early stuff, but what I like about the banshees is that they never stuck to one specific sound. If they wanted to be rock or punk (early era), they were, if they wanted an orchestral, operatic sound (Dreamhouse, Rapshody) then they would.
This album contains alot of banshee elements that retain their sound, but again, it is a progression from their last album. It is a maturer album that has left the wailing and howling of the spectacular, primitive albums, and become more tuneful and relaxed.
The good thing about the banshees is that they have so many different sounds, that it is hard for me to tire of them. They always have an album to fit my mood and the rapture is (for me) up there (though not quite in line) with Tinderbox, Kiss in the Dreamhouse, Juju and Peepshow. Still, nothing will ever transcend their howling debut The Scream.
Key Tracks: O Baby, The Double Life, Love Out Me, The Rapture, Forever and Stargazer.
on 12 June 2005
As a lifelong Banshees fan.... it's rare for them to bring out a song that I cannot bring myself to enjoy that much 'Oh Baby'( a single no less) followed by 'Tearing Apart' are boring songs that kick this album off to such an uninspiring start. Further on there are moments of brilliance (namely the title track) where Siouxsie's vocals are seen at something like their dazzling best. 'Stargazer,'the Lonely One' are melodic and sprightly whilst the fury of 'Not Forgotten' also raises the standard. The later songs that were not produced by John Cale, but by the band themselves are far superior.... and see them experimenting in the way that die hard fans would come to expect.
Better than nothing i guess, but this isn't the Banshees at their finest. Siouxsie and Budgie as the Creatures later went on to put together stuff that was much improved on this.
on 13 January 2014
I suspect I did a bona fide double-take the first time I played The Rapture - the opening track is so uncharacteristically b.l.a.n.d. that I'd assumed my disc was a mis-press but, as Siouxsie's unmistakable vocals entered the fray, the ghastly truth dawned: The Banshees had lost their bollocks.
Though it DOES improve a few songs later, The Rapture still sounds like an album of 2 distinct halves to me: 5 of the songs were produced by John Cale & they, on the whole, are rather disappointing - tepid attempts to nudge The Banshees onto the radio (& into the charts) by highlighting Siouxsie's remarkable voice (i.e. a good idea) while stripping the accompaniment of any tangible edge (a very bad one). If Polydor are considering reissuing it I honestly hope they let the band remix it first.
Listening back to The Rapture again now, almost 20 years later, it feels as if there's a decent LP struggling to wrestle free & fight it's way to the surface, buried beneath layers of extraneous ornamentation & decoration. However, while a couple of songs are undeniably sublime, it remains (for me) a failure on virtually all fronts, & as the band's final statement it still seems like a massive disappointment.
on 4 June 2010
The Rapture was the Banshees' return to form, after going a bit mainstream with Peepshow and a bit glossy with Superstition. We were now back rougher production and focus on a more traditional Banshees sound. Two singles were released from The Rapture; the bland background music of 'O Baby', (which is the Banshees' worst music video), and the wonderfully catchy New Wave of 'Stargazer'. I credited the Banshees for releasing a very 1982 sounding single in the mid-90's, when New Wave was considered an embarrassment to those who now immersed themselves in the vile Grunge scene. Unfortunately for it, Stargazer achieved the lowest chart position of any Banshees single, and signaled the end of the most amazing career in music history.
Some low points certainly exist on The Rapture. 'The Lonely One' has to the worst Banshees song ever. 'The Double Life' and 'Falling Down' are not much better. On the up side, 'Forever' and 'The Rapture' are the album highlights. 'Forever' is a gorgeous tear jerker, while 'The Rapture' is an 11 minute epic with three distinctive breathtaking parts. As long as the song is it's never tedious for a second, and just as daring and stunning all these years later.
The distance Siouxsie and Budgie lived, as well as long time in-fighting (and most likely diminishing sales) resulted in The Banshees calling it quits after The Rapture. Some fights seemed to revolve around Budgie's occasional stabs at lyric writing and Severin's disapproval of them. As a result, one of the better songs from the sessions, 'Hang Me High' (lyrics by Budgie), was relegated to a B side.
After the Banshees split, Siouxsie and Budgie continued on as The Creatures, releasing the terribly trendy and bland Anima Animus, followed by the dull and forgettable Hai. The Banshees briefly reunited in 2002 for the release of their Best Of CD, as well as a series of live shows. The shows concentrated heavily on the first few albums, and also showed that Siouxsie's voice no longer fit the material. She had lost much of her upper register, which resulted in her signing being way off key. Most of it was painful to listen to, but I don't understand how a person who makes her living as a vocalist didn't realize that she would have to stop smoking if she wanted to retain her pipes. Now they're gone forever. Once Budgie and Siouxsie divorced, Siouxie released her first solo album. After hearing sound samples of the album, I opted not to purchase it. If the Banshees reunited, I have no doubt that they would deliver another amazing album. As talented as Siouxsie and Budgie are, if Severin's not there then neither is the magic.
2014 REMASTER UPDATE:
The Rapture was reissued in a "remastered" form in October 2014, along with 3 of the band's other albums. The remastering here is all over the place. Though the remastered CD has loud and brickwalled volume, the original CD did as well. And being that it was released in 1995 it was likely one of the first victims of the loudness war. But unlike much of my opinion on the other remasters in the Banshees catalog, this one actually has some minor improvements in spots. 'Tearing Apart' and 'Love Out Me' both have a fuller sound with more punch than the original CD, though do cut back a little on the high end (as has everything in this remaster series). But other songs don't fare so well. The song 'The Rapture' has a considerably duller, muted and muddy sound compared to the original CD. The delicate details are blurred into the background. 'Stargazer' has been replaced on this CD with one of the remixes of the song, which first appeared on one of the CD singles back in 1995, then again on the Best Of CD released in 2002. A couple fans asked Steven Severin about this on the band's Facebook page, though he didn't comment.
The bonus tracks here are the best of the batch. 'FGM' is a demo with a great rocking sound. The intended lyrics are included under the CD tray but the demo lyrics are little more than Siouxsie mumbling what was to have been the structure of the song had they gone forward with it. A number of months ago 'FGM' showed up on YouTube. Severin replied in offense that someone had been able to obtain a copy of 'FGM', and insisted that it was incomplete, sub-standard and never meant to be heard, and would certainly not be included on any release. Then a couple of months ago he apparently had a change of heart and put a message on the Facebook page asking for the person who had the recording to contact him. So now lucky for us we have 'FGM' included as a bonus track. 'New Skin' is a thunderous song originally included in the unintentional camp classic film Showgirls, though this version is nearly 3 minutes longer and is excellent. There was other material that could have been included as bonus tracks. The song 'Dizzy', from the same timeframe as The Rapture, appeared on the 2002 Best Of CD, though had been re-edited from its original form. The original version (which I do have) was available on a 1 track CD for a limited time. It would have fit in nicely with the rest of the album.
on 24 May 2007
Siouxsie and the Banshees left behind an incredibly impressive body of work which is ripe for re-discovery. Albums such as "juju" and "A Kiss In The Dreamhouse" have lush textures, sparkling pop brilliance and intense song writing, all wrapped up in a dark and mysterious mood.
However, "The Rapture", their final album, is not one of those albums. Sounding slightly tired and deflated, the Banshees ground to a halt after releasing an album that shows, in no uncertain terms, why they needed to stop. There is nothing particularly offensive about these songs, and that is the central problem with them: where the Banshees used to RAGE and HOWL and SCREAM, now the just wheeze.
Even a collaboration with John Cale as producer couldn't recapture the magic, and in my opinion, the songs they recorded with him are some of the poorest they ever produced. The rest of the songs are similarly lifeless, and only serve to portray the Banshees as an example of the kind of band they formed to destroy. The reason they are not remembered so well today could largely be blamed on the whimper they went out on, and this album perfectly captures the sound of that whimper. Not recommended.