Rapture gets a kicking for its "over-produced sound" and synthesizers, and being from the eighties. Well, yep, all that, but ... it sounds great. It does. If we have to have eighties music, and I suppose we do, it should sound like this finely detailed Randy California production. The man knew his way around a studio. That period drum sound, usually so flatly metronomic and irritating, becomes a tribal heartbeat in Cass's capable hands. John Locke's synth isn't overplayed, and remain untouched most of the time. A few of the songs do qualify as generic hard rock, but there's some first-tier Randy California material here, thoughtful, imaginative, and atmospheric. Plus also too: great title, great cover. Their last major label release, as it didn't impress floppy-haired synth-pop fans, and such Spirit fans as were left had mostly wandered away into th' fog after the half-assed nothing-burger of The Thirteenth Dream. If you were one of them, as I was, then please do give it a spin on th' Victrola. It's a swell Spirit album, and deserves its place in the canon.
The following year's Tent Of Miracles limped out on a non-label with a toxic cover [at right - Ed.] that actively terminated any remaining chances of sales.
The sound is stripped-down after Rapture, as is the line-up. Mike Nile's playing, singing and writing is an asset, and the whole deal slips down a treat. As much as I like their last album California Blues (which is to say, not a whole bunch) it doesn't have the cohesiveness or *gulp* artistic integrity - blues covers? - of these two. I was wrong about them, and it's a great pleasure to catch up.