Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, Rock, Christian
Delirious' studio releases are getting to be like Star Trek movies: every other release is the good one. While Mezzamorphis and Touch had their bright moments, it was the subsequent releases of Glo and World Service that t... more »
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Delirious' studio releases are getting to be like Star Trek movies: every other release is the good one. While Mezzamorphis and Touch had their bright moments, it was the subsequent releases of Glo and World Service that truly testify to the musical and songwriting brilliance of these faith-based Brit rockers. Lead man Martin Smith, well known within Christian music circles for his songwriting prowess (such as "I Can Sing of Your Love Forever"), combines with guitarist Stu Garrard for 12 tracks filled with melody, catchy hooks, and enough crunch to satisfy anyone's cutting-edge tastes. The irresistible chorus lines in "Rain Down," "Majesty," and "Everyone Knows" show that the Smith-Garrard tandem knows a good pop song. But the more subtle and substantial element in World Service is the clear comfort the band has with each other. Drummer Stew Smith and bassist Jon Thatcher lay down rock-steady rhythms throughout while keyboardist Tim Jupp adds just enough spice to make it interesting. "Inside Outside" is a great example of this with plenty of space between each musician's moments. Delirious is clearly more confident and mature in their craft. Music fans in the Christian world and beyond will be all the better for it. --Michael Lyttle
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World Service ... World Class
Josh Tusepack | 07/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am an Ex-Christian and back in my believer days, Delirious were possibly my favourite band. Things have moved on since, but they remain one of my favourite bands which for me speaks of their musical talent and that little niche they've created for themselves that no-one else can fill. It's a sad reflection of how exclusively secular mainstream music is that quality of this kind can only really be found within the confines of the belief to which it is so unashamedly attached. A little while ago, Delirious made the mistake of being a little overly concerned with mainstream crossover appeal. Of recent recordings, they seem to have joyously abandoned that goal. It must have been hard for them; who wouldn't want the fame, the money, the resources that being a succesful secular artist beings? As a Christian band, they must yearn to speak loud into the secular arena. Yet this wasn't to be for Delirious, at least not yet. So for now they return to what they do best; focus on their passions regardless of mainstream acceptance. This is a great album, in my opinion their best since Mezzamorphis. I still find Martin Smith's voice intriguing. He can't quite sing but then that's his appeal, as is the obscure accent he has or performs with. He occasionally falls into the trap of shouting the chorus parts of the song, especially the more anthemic, of which there are several. The first half of the album is definately the strongest; the opener grabs you with its intimate lyrics, as does the whole album. Strongest tracks for me were 'Inside Outside', and little will prepare you for the spine-tingling power of 'Majesty'. Many more are growers which improve on each listen.Delirious continue to get better and better, and as someone with his faith firmly behind him, this album causes me to pause and reflect. A greater acalade is hard to achieve."
The boys return to form
D. Keating | Bristow, VA United States | 05/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having listened to Delirious for the past several years, I am extremely pleased with their latest release. They are back at the forefront of modern Christian music with this album. I must admit that I was a little worried after Touch which paled in comparison to Glo. But, World Service clearly demonstrates that Delirious' music is as powerful, and God inspired, as ever.This album shows a wide range of styles and sounds which is encouraging, and the band successfully pulls them all off. The two best songs on the album are Rain Down and Majesty. The first is very upbeat and sounds more like the Clash, than U2 for those familiar with those bands. Majesty is just an awesome worship song - the music is moving and the lyrics excellent. Other strong songs include God in Heaven (sounds a lot like early Police), Inside Outside, and With You. My only complaint with the album is some of the slower songs are a little overdone. Martin tries a little too hard to convey his emotions through his singing. This is a minor distraction, given the strength of the rest of the album.I highly recommend this album to any Delirious fan, especially if you like Glo. If you didn't care as much for Touch, don't be afraid to buy this one, it is better. For anyone unfamiliar with the band, this album is a great starting point."
Mr. D. L. Hames | 01/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can make no secret of the fact that Delirious? have always had a place in my heart. If nothing else, they are probably my favourite band- they are always an inspiration and the music is somehow already part of me before I hear it. Their last album, Audio Lessonover was met with a little confusion by many people. Delirious? didn't seem quite themselves. Having said that, I certainly won't dismiss it, because it had some great songs on that have more than proved themselves live. I, and a few others, have decided that prouction on AL? squeezed some of the life out of the Delirious? sound. While that may be the case, it was a very inventive step that opened-up some new sonic avenues, especially in terms of experimenting with timbre and texture.
Unfortunately and unfairly, it seems that AL? lost the band a few fans. The previous albums: the epic prog-rock praise of Glo and the now classic Mezzamorphis had given d: a lot to live up to. For many people's money, World Service was going to be an album whose responsibility it was was put things straight again.
Grace Like A River begins with feedback and drums before launching into a furious riff; the 6/8 immediately hinting at past favourite album opener Sanctify. The chorus is classic d:, soaring and anthemic. (Adverbs that seem to crop up a great deal when people review Delirious?). This song also boasts a great Jon Thatcher bassline that never sits still- while everyone else is playing major sevenths, Jon is wandering around in some other key. After the bridge, an atmospheric few seconds of backing vocals and reverb break back into the chorus and into Martin borrowing bits of the hymn Amazing Grace. Quite a start...
Rain Down realeased as the second MP3 single is, probably the epitome of the Delirious? sound. A great intro with "do do" bv's, followed by another funky bassline. In sweeps the chorus "Rain Down / All around the world we're singing / Rain Down"- it could be no other band on earth. Strangely, while it's instantly recognisable, it's still comepletely fresh and exciting. This is a great song with everything that you'd want in a song from the d: boys; wah guitar, a great crowd singalong section and a bridge that is impossible to sing for the average human being. It's a hybrid in the line of Deeper, See The Star and Love Is The Compass- pure 'powerpop'. It started as a soundcheck, found its way onto Access:d, the live album and will shortly be an absolute killing live. Their best single for ages.
The next track is God In Heaven rumours spread about this song a while ago- that Martin had done some daring new stuff with the vocals. When I heard it, my first thought was that I liked it and that the raucous vocals were indeed very cool. As I listen to it more, the more I like it. The chorus of this song is certainly nothing to argue with, "To God in heav'n be the glory". Syncopated drums and an almost arpegiated melody make it a lot of fun to sing along to when no one else is around. The middle section features those rumoured vocals- Mart shouting "yeah yeah yeah" is pretty spine tingling. Again, this one is going to be seriously popular in a live setting; the guitars will scream and the crowd will gladly take up singing the chorus!
Proceedings shift into more contemplative mode next with Majesty (Here I Am), which was the first MP3 single from this album. As a single, it was squarely aimed at churches with the sheet music being published and the song was pushed at festivals during the Summer. There was good reason for it- Majesty is a beautiful song. Gentle acoustics and Jesus Blood style scratching and synth noises accompany a string section and the Hillsongs choir to produce a quite enchanting effect. Majesty will be a classic for years to come, whether in stadia with lighters aloft or in churches around the world.
Inside Outside follows, possibly the standout track for me (I have yet to decide). Stu G sings the verses, reminding us of Fire and A Little Love from AL?. The song has the same, slighty Radiohead-style muted feel. Stew churns out a driving beat as the song progresses, guitars weave in an out with great restraint in a slow build that will remind you of Obsession or Investigate. Suddenly, the bridge erupts, "You're all over me". The eruption finishes as suddenly as it begins, and we return to the pounding of before. The guitar tones are beautiful and I will never get bored of the melody of the chorus. The songs ends after an intense spontaneous-sounding section, and Martin sings "You celebrate me". It's a fantastic song- perhaps one of the best they have ever made. Perfectly produced and exquisitly played. The final product is a brooding reverie, mature and complex. A key song on the album.
Free is next. Guitars that sound like U2's Elevation, jazzy keyboard inflections and lazy vocals. The pre-chorus goes "I've got wings, so watch me fly", following a chromatic melody. The chorus soars with the best of them; "I'm free to be the man you want me to be". Jon's bass playing is, again, very inventive. Stu G's minature space guitar break leads back into the song's central riff that that will have you tapping away with biros on your imaginary drum kit. The song is fairly straightforward, but not suffering for it by any means. Think Fire with a laid back groove, a classic style chorus and glissando 'aaaaah' backing vocals.
Everyone Knows is a little gem. Acoustically based, it skips along with a great melody and, you guessed it, another groove bassline. When you least expect it, it breaks into a completely bizarre chorus. Pizzacato strings and synth noises, a Penny Lane music hall melody and odd out of tune sounds somehow make it sound like a narcotic baroque orchestra crossed with a fairground organ. Comepletly random- apparently compiled from bits of songs that Stu G has accumulated over the years- this song has already been berrated by some already, but I'd like to pin my colours to the mast now and say that I think it's brilliant. It's catchy and charming and quite new territory for the band.
The desperate strains of With You are next. Unusually for an up-tempo number, it is piano led. This is a real nice touch and it adds some spice to the relentless surge of drums and bass. The C, D, Em riff builds and builds until it spills into the chorus and back again until with a sudden release, the bridge arrives. Martin's vocals go through a guitar amp sim or a megaphone and the guiatrs are unleased at last. You think the song has finished, when the drums come back, shortly joined again by the bass and that piano. Backing vocals join as Martin sings (now more realxed) "I'm alive 'cos you're alive", then he changes register and the song changes gear again- Stew opens his hi-hat and the rock begins again, layers of guitars chime and when the song finishes, there is harly any time before the reverse guitar effects fade into the piano of Mountains High.
Written after the death of John Thatcher- a relative of the band, this song is an almost hopeless sigh. Adam Mills (DJ A Skillz), who you may remember from the band Sabio (neé Fruit), adds some spooky-sounding loops and scratching effects, and as the song builds, electronica guitars and bass fade in and the build-up of emotion is palpable as Martin is right at the top of his range, frantically calling, "Pull me, drag me, hold me, keep me...". The song finishes abruptly and a single violin begins the next track. It's a beautiful, intense song- a stark insight into bereavement. It is not at all sugar coated, but has faith enough to admit "Your ways are too high for us".
Some may complain that there is a lack of hope in Mountains High, but significantly, the gentle start of I Was Blind sets out imediately to say "I love your ways / they are beautiful, so beautiful to me.". Clean guitars and an oriental sounding piano ostinato soon give way to a quietly fuzzing guitar. The drums join, soaked in a gate reverb and the backing vocals bring a similar feel to Intimate Stranger. The slow burn fades and there is a great left-field guitar sound, joined presently by more layed sounds and the song progresses into "Let is shine on me"- reminiscent of Blindfold and also the middle-8 of It's OK. What started off as a quiet song is now somehow in complete dissonant chaos, which ends up sounding like a film soundtrack. A brilliant mood piece.
Penultimate songs are always important, and Feel It Coming On does a great job. Chugging bass, guitars that sound like Ash's Burn, Baby, Burn along with some cool syncopated drums create a background for some very understated vocals. The chorus arrives with a great guitar riff in a minor key that sounds like 1990's U2. As Martin sings "When you call my name / It feels like heaven", the song breaks into a run, "Will you hold me tonight". Raging guitars, fizzing drums Bond flim soundtrack strings enter, and then give way to a breakdown- piano raindrops, flange guitar, and some now trademark walking bass. The song goes into an almost half-time feel and gradually builds back up to the strength it was before. Suddenly, the wall of guitars is back and Martin is pleading "Hold me tight". Again, another step in a very new direction for d:, and what a result it is! Quite frenetic in places, it's a muscular rock n roll mosnter of a song.
Every Little Thing showcases some great lyrics "If your world is without colour / I will carry you if you'll carry me". The lilting chorus sees Martin joined by none other than Mr Daniel Bedingfield, who is a friend of Jon Thatcher. After a verse and chorus of rhodes piano-led pastoral tectures, The second verse holds its breath and takes the plunge. More great lyrics here: "I've built my house where the ocean meets the land / It's time to live again, pull my dreams out of the sand". The bridge is powerful in addressing the listener "There is someone who can carry you", a cool-as-ice Stew Smee roll brings us into some strings and the chorus comes around again, triumphant and assured. A neat little run finishes the song and the album is over. It feels too soon!
So... what can I say? Some noticably praise-centred lyrics are great to see, sitting alongside some songs that would be quite at home on the radio. To see songs like "Majesty" and "Every Little Thing" on the same record seems like a bringing together of loose ends in a sense. Delirious? have made an album that is comepletely true to themselves because it's both a rock album and an album of praise songs. They have said about this project that they simply followed what they felt God was calling them to do- as they say in Feel It's Coming On they've 'come without a plan'. There are no chart singles for the moment (except Inside Outside in Germany, released by BMG) and perhaps not the same marketing push that Mezzamorphis or Audio Lessonover? got in the mainstream press. It shows that they have simply come and put what they have on the table without needing to worry if it's "too rock n roll for the church, or too Christian for the mainstream".
I think that in taking this approach, they've done themselves a big favour. It seems to me that the boys have been under a lot of pressure to perform to certain standards ("I hope there's an album with as good production as Mezzamorphis" / "Why aren't the lyrics as straight as Cutting Edge?"). It can't have been easy to be in this place of having to try and please eveyone, but they did as they were told by the only Voice worth listening to. And now, with World Service, I think that they could probably silence their critics from both camps. It may well be their best album yet. It's mature, it's more than sure of itself, it rocks, it floats and like every Delirious? release, it's full of passion and honesty.
It gets full marks in my book, with only one question to ask: Where are all the guitar solos?