(Q February '95)

"The Rapture"
*** (three stars)
by Andrew Collins

So what do we expect from a Banshees record? Sixteen years is time enough to get the measure of any band, especially one whose line-up has endured so (Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin from day one; elegant drumming from Budgie since 1980). Sales have waned (clue: 1981's "Once Upon A Time" best-of enjoyed 26 chart-weeks, 1992's second volume just the two), but, oddly, quality has not. If the initial brightness of this album -- best heard on the "O Baby" single and "Forever" -- is commercially motivated, so be it; their janglesome joss-stick rock has known many pop hooks in its time. John Cale part-co-produces (the jolly ones), Sioux -- the natural mother of Dolores O'Riordan and Liz Fraiser -- still sings "grace" as "gray-hee-ay-ace", and only an undisciplined, non-rapturous title sequence drags too much.

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