Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rapor EP | Active Child


★★★★☆

Active Child is a relatively underground indie artist that I first heard of thanks to his remix of Lana Del Rey's "Ride," although I never really dug deeper into his music. After his name appeared again in my music collection, this time when Ellie Goulding covered his song "Hanging On" for her sophomore album Halcyon, I figured it was time to start looking for some of his solo work. Luckily, he now has a new fan thanks to his new release, the Rapor EP.

First, let's talk about the song that introduced me to both the Rapor EP and Active Child as a whole: "Silhouette," which features Ellie Goulding. Look up the word "heavenly" in the dictionary, and you will find this song as part of it's definition. "Silhouette" has to be the best song from the EP all-around. I mean, listen to that falsetto! It's like an angel singing from a cloud and hugging a puppy. Ellie Goulding gets her time to sparkle with her beautiful vocals, and then the two of them together make mystical harmonies throughout the rest of the song. Anybody who denies the angelic qualities of this song may have hearing problems.

Now, reversing to the beginning of the EP, we find "She Cut Me," a two minute snippet of song that can only be described as tribal, complete with xylophones, drums, and battered shrieks from Active Child himself. "She Cut Me" leads into "Subtle," featuring Mikky Ekko, who was once skyrocketed into fame thanks to his feature of Rihanna's "Stay." This track takes a bit of an electronic pathway but doesn't stray away from the normal vibe of this extended play, either. Of course, that falsetto is back and ready for action as Active Child soars into the stratosphere with those notes. Ekko comes front and center about half-way through the song with a Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake inspired vocal tone. It's an outstanding effort from both artists and it can only strengthen this EP.

"Calling in the Name of Love" brings a bit of a darker sound into play, but gives me really strong eighties vibes. In fact, it strangely puts me in mind of Phil Collins' 1981 single "In The Air Tonight." It's almost like a modern-day indie-style revamp of the song in terms of sound, actually. Following "Calling in the Name of Love" is the closing track of the EP, titled "Evening Ceremony." The song has a bit more of an explosive chorus when compared to the rest of the songs on the Rapor EP, but it eventually brings the EP to a dreamy and glimmering end.

Many critics have slammed this piece of work, saying that it deviates too far away from Active Child's previous work. To be fair, I can't really compare it to his previous records because this is the first glimpse I've had of the artist so far, but I can promise that I am thoroughly impressed with it. Of course, sometimes critics can be harsh. But, take a chance and listen to the Rapor EP below for free via Active Child's official SoundCloud. You may find something that you like from it; I know I did.

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