Of Rapture, Gina French's Sophomore album, is a highly ambitious offering that is characterized by the kind of intensity one would expect to find on the most mature post-modern rock album. A key element to the new direction this second album would take was manifested by French's decision go primarily electric and use a solid backup band on most of the new material. This intensity reflects to what degree French's artistic talents had grown during the intervening years that followed the release of Sacred Ground as well as her strong desire, in a musical sense, to reach out and conquer new territory. Notably, the musicians she brought on board for this project were some of the best session players in the greater Salt Lake City area, including Bill Frost (a.k.a. "Mr. Bill") on guitar and Lance Lee on bass, and former Salt Laker-turned-New Yorker Adam Sorensen on drums. Other key performers included fellow singer-songwriter Stacey Board doing backup vocals and veteran session man Phil Miller playing saxophone. Interestingly, one standout track, "November Days," features a different band entirely, which represents a reunion of members from the short-lived band known as November that French had been a part of in the 1980's, including Mike Doran on guitar, Sean Meade on drums, and Melissa Warner on bass and doing backing vocals. Like Gina French's earlier release, it is also a highly cohesive work. While the cohesion of her earlier album may have revolved around a rather abstract acoustic and subtle, almost dreamlike theme, it would appear that the theme found in Of Rapture is most overt, and that is clearly an intense Passion. It's colors are hues of red, which are implicit in both the cover artwork as well as in French's songs, which range from hard-driving, sensual and fiery rockers to hypnotic, world-beat tinged numbers and then all the way to strident atmospheric homages to a special child as well as to a band and a place in time when one's course in life was set. She says that right before the year 2000, when she started planning the album, she thought it would be "sort of a bluesy rocker, and the world music concept was not part of the mix because I hadn't written those songs yet." "Then I wrote the song "Of Rapture" in 2000. It was a fluke that came from out of the blue. So then I thought, this album's going to be a bit different. And so, synchronicity again came into play." French had been struck by the images in the Oscar-winning movie, The English Patient, and had been especially moved by the effect of the plaintive and ethereal, Eastern-sounding quality of the ethnic singer whose voice was featured at crucial moments (Hungarian folk singer, Marta Sebestyn) of the film soundtrack. So that sound was on the back of her mind, where it eventually made a cerebral union, of sorts, with another bit of music that had also struck French in a similarly profound way, the sound of the exotic Middle Eastern vocalist (the famous Algerian "Prince of Rai," Cheb Mami) in Sting's 2000 world music hit, "Desert Rose." So after that, unbeknownst to her at the time, these two elements began a subconscious incubation in Gina French's mind, with the end product down the line destined to become the award-winning title track to her new album. Of Rapture was the end result of four years of intense studio work and demanding songwriting.
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