(VOX February '95)

"The Rapture"
7 (out of 10)
by Steve Malins

Since overcoming a loss of direction in the mid-80's, the Banshees have recorded two of their finest albums with the psychedelic voyeurism of "Peepshow" and the more symmetrical pop of the Stephen Hague produced "Superstition." Nevertheless, Siouxsie Sioux in particular found Hauge's meticulous approach a constraint, and their choice of working with John Cale on half of "The Rapture" has allowed for a more intuitive, looser-sounding album.

One of the tracks which reflects this Cale/Banshees chemistry is the single "O Baby." Perhaps drawing inspiration from quiet days in her South of France home, the song follows a simple, goofy sentiment, shuffling across hot tarmac as she looks down at her feet and sees "the creases in my shoes smile up at me." "The Lonely One" is also whimsical in tone, while "Stargazer" is more ethereal in its up-beat swing.

The title track is a sublime melodrama recalling the experimentation of "Peepshow" and 1982's "Kiss In The Dreamhouse." Their tales of split personalities and emotional pain have lost the minimalist punk chill of old, but "The Rapture" represents an intelligent twist on familiar Banshees obsessions.

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