Welcome back, long time reader. Some of you might know that I’m a big Leeb fan. No album has shaped my music listening more than Front Line Assembly’s “Caustic Grip”, and I’ve been an avid collector since then.
So, why am I telling you this? Because I don’t really know what to make of the new Delerium album. The last one, “Poem”, began a very commercial approach to the Delerium sound, and spawned a couple of singles. This new album takes it even further, and adds disco, lounge music and straight out radio pop to the palette. Still a lot of electronics, acoustic guitars and drums though.
I try to mentally separate this new material from older Delerium stuff, the music that means so much to me. The only thing in common is the name. And the new sound isn’t bad, just very different. Bill Leeb and his cohorts Rhys Fulber, DJ K-Rec and Carmen Rizzo know how to work the machinery, and to compose catchy tunes. Lots of guest vocalists add to the picture as usual, including Leigh Nash, Kirsty Thirsk, Rani and more.
The fact that Rhys is back with Bill again has made many fans vibrate with glee, but actually I’m not too fond of all his tracks here. “After All” is awesome, once you get used to that crappy voice effect, and the instrumental “Serenity” is brilliant. But they really should stop using ancient Enigma beats. Another instrumental called “Eternal Odyssey” is a nine minute long excursion into Thomas Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”, and features a piano solo. Impressive, but leaves me wanting more for some reason. It just wanders along.
My favourites are non-Rhys tracks, namely “Just a Dream” and “Forever After”. The first being a laidback and groovy track with astounding chorus, and the latter is a voice-fest with Sultana, and lifts my spirit like nothing else.
A lot of ideas are being re-used in the songs, which is sad. “Run for It” with Leigh Nash sounds very much like a straight follow-up to her “Innocente” from “Poem”, and the people saying Leeb is formulaic get some points here. But the song isn’t weak.
In conclusion, stay well clear of this album if you are expecting “Karma”. It’s not. It is however an incredibly well produced pop album that can be quite successful, even without hideous trance remixes. I'm a sucker for good pop songs, which might help. Some tracks are incredibly cheesy though, and the programming function on your CD-player comes in very handy.
A double-disc limited edition is available as well, with the infectious track “Stopwatch Hearts”, some remixes and a couple of videos.