Review Summary: Trading electronics for organic instruments doesn’t turn out to be the disaster that it could have been.
I can’t explain why, but the thought of Delerium releasing an album full of acoustic remakes just didn’t sit right with me. It could have just been the thought that most of those albums accomplish very little besides diminishing the quality of the original songs, but, in all honesty, there was more to it than that. There was also the lingering bad taste from the disappointing Nuages du Monde
, and the fact that Bill Leeb’s past work seemed to imply that he wouldn’t have the faintest idea of how to create an acoustic album. It turns out, though, that Voice (An Acoustic Collection)
is a finely-crafted collection of acoustic remakes that present the songs in a different, yet wholly satisfying, light.
For most, the first thought when the word ‘acoustic’ is used is of an acoustic guitar with minimalist accompaniment, but that isn’t the case here. Most of the songs on Voice
are built around lush piano arrangements that take their initial influence from the original songs, but are much fuller in order to compensate for the lack of electronics. The songs also make up for the lack of electronics by making liberal use of different stringed instruments such as violins and cellos. Together these instruments combine to create a collection of very chill songs that are as relaxing as they are gorgeous. Speaking of gorgeous, one of Delerium’s main attractions is that each album contains a collection of very competent guest female vocalists, and that hasn’t changed. The choice of songs on Voice
should leave most fans satisfied as it contains most of the high profile vocalists including Sarah McLachlan on “Silence”, Jael (Lunik
) and Leigh Nash (Sixpence None the Richer
) on two tracks each, and Kristy Thirsk – among a list of others. In fact, the only questionable track on the album is the previously unreleased song, “Vienna (featuring Elsiane)”. Despite the excellent music, the vocals are simply terrible (it’s not a stretch to say she sounds like a cat in multiple sections of the song).
Maybe Nuages du Monde
was a fluke, and Delerium still have it in them to make great music. The amount of thought and quality found in Voice (An Acoustic Collection)
seems to imply that it’s the case, at least. Bill Leeb made sure that the songs presented here would be different enough to warrant this compilation’s existence, but also similar enough to the originals that long-time fans would easily recognize them. Additionally, every facet of the music has been fleshed out with soothing piano melodies and an abundance of other acoustic instruments in order to ensure that the lack of electronics wouldn’t leave the songs feeling barren. Overall, the additional element provide an enjoyable second-take on the original tracks and often times even compliment the excellent female vocals more than the originals, and that alone makes Voice (An Acoustic Collection)
a worthy edition to any current Delerium fan’s collection.