Album Reviews

Class Actress – Rapprocher

(Carpark) UK release date: 17 October 2011


Romance is not the first thing to associate with electronic music. No, romance is more readily pinned to dreadfully dull men with beards and guitars and bearded guitars who yearn for things. Really yeeeeaaaarrn.

Which is odd, because actually the parallels are easily drawn: twinkling synths fluttering past like the euphoric, stomach-wobbling rush of first attraction. Breathy vocals mirroring those first furtive conversations, teetering between fear and lust. Syncopated snares mimicking the pounding of a frantic heartbeat.

The heartbeat of the morning after, the heartbeat of one who can’t quite remember precisely what the person they’re lying next to looks like and is slightly concerned they may have made a horrendous mistake.

Ah yes, modern liaisons. Equal parts fear and desire.

You want evidence for these corollaries? Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Rapprocher. Yes, we know. We’ve seen a lot of female-fronted electro bands this year. So many it feels like we could really do with some sort of collective noun. Maybe a Goldfrapp. Or a Dreijer, perhaps.

But where Austra are detached and Zola Jesus are portentous, Class Actress are giddy and impassioned. And wearing an oversized suit jacket with the sleeves pushed up above the elbows.

Nevertheless, like the recent offerings from the aforementioned pair, Rapprocher is properly cinematic. It just so happens that this film prominently features a topless Richard Gere attempting to spoon you.

The first half of the album is brilliant. It tumbles forward breathlessly, rushing headlong into events. It kisses on a first date. It invites people back for coffee. It liberally hands out home phone numbers left, right and centre and flatly refuses to contemplate any terrible consequences. Because we’re definitely, definitively, decisively going to be together forever. Right?

Keep You is The Knife after they’d received a 3-foot cupid bear for Valentine’s day. Love Me Like You Used Too is as sensual as a foot massage. Weekend is like skinny dipping in a pool of glitter.

It’s just sort of lovely. You just sort of fall for it.

But then, just when you’re about ready to elope, it goes a little tiny bit off. The pseudo-steel-drums of Limousine make you feel trapped in a Lilt advert instead of roaming the city streets in rapturous happiness and it’s pretty clear All The Saints was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar before we met it.

But then again, Bienvenue is such a little bundle of joy, cutely grasping for a hand and running off under the bleachers of teenage, John Hughes film soundtrack, longing, pausing for a second to apply enough lip gloss to prevent chafing, you quickly forget.

And focus on the good times. Of which there are many. True, it’s hard to know whether this relationship will last. But who cares. Live in the present. Which, if it’s like Rapprocher will be fun and sexy and exciting. The future’s got nothing on that.


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