Single Review: Blondie “Rapture”

Year: 1980
Album: Autoamerican

Female pop stars’ rapping in their songs is the new trend of 2004. The efforts vary from the well-done (Kylie Minogue’s “Secret [Take You Home])” to the awful (Madonna “American Life” and Britney Spears “Brave New Girl”).” None quite match the finesse of Deborah Harry of Blondie in the single “Rapture.”

“Rapture,” which explores a night dancing in the club while high on drugs, successfully mixes three music genres together. Dance and rap are the most prominent ones. New wave doesn’t appear until Harry’s rap.

Harry’s soprano vocals are frisky and sinless as she sings about clubgoers dancing “very close/body breathing/almost comatose.” She seems to be singing from the point of view of a new clubber who is observing everything around her. However, her rap suggests otherwise. She’s now involved with the people there, (“Fab Five Freddy told me everybody’s fly…/Flash is fast/flash is cool”) and tripping on drugs (“And out comes the man from Mars/and you try to run but he’s got a gun.”) By the second verse, she’s clearly deep into the scene, but finds it empty (“no sign of a savior in rapture”). In the final rap, she’s the voice of experience (“well you see what ya wanna be/just have your party on TV)” and has left it behind (“and he’s gone back up to space/where he won’t have to hassle with the human race.”)

“Rapture,” despite the inane ‘man from Mars’ lyrics, is a classic.


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