Active Child's debut full length album You Are All I See made quite the impression on me, landing as my fourth best album of 2011. Now Pat Grossi returns with his first release of new music since his stunning full length and he has blown me away all over again. The Rapor EP is yet another flawless piece of work from a musician that has become an essential artist for me to keep track of.
Opening with the brief but soothing "She Cut Me", a mostly instrumental piece, The Rapor EP sees Grossi take his music in a slightly more R&B direction while still retaining the electronic and synth-pop sound from You Are All I See. "Subtle" features Mikky Ekko, best known for his collaboration with Rihanna on "Stay". "Calling In The Name Of Love" and "Feeling Is Gone" also walk the line of electronic R&B.
As outstanding as the uptempo material is, the EP's highlight for me is "Silhouette", a duet with Ellie Goulding who covered Active Child's "Hanging On" last year on her Halcyon album . Grossi's falsetto soars and finds its perfect vocal partner in Goulding. It's equally as gorgeous a ballad as "Johnny Belinda", my previous favorite Active Child track. A showcase for two powerhouse singers.
The EP closes with a new version of "Evening Ceremony", a track released earlier this year. This new recording is about 30 seconds shorter and has clearly been remixed and updated, but it is still a top notch, soulful ballad. It doesn't suffer from the new mix and production whatsoever.
At just six songs, the Rapor EP is better than a large chunk of the full length albums I have heard this year. It serves notice of Grossi's continued mastery of his craft and leaves me anxious to hear more from this truly original voice. Hopefully 2014 sees the next Active Child album, as well as a long awaited tour stop in Michigan.
Favorite tracks: "Silhouette", "Evening Ceremony", "Subtle"
The Rapor EP was released October 22, 2013 on Vagrant Records