Delerium
Music Box Opera


3.0
good

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
October 30th, 2012 | 17 replies | 5,713 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Delerium trying to offer something for everyone.

Music Box Opera, Delerium's first album in over six years, finds Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber (along with new collaborator Jeremy Inkel) returning to the poppier, female studded format debuted on 2003's successful, Chimera. After the slight return of the more exotic, mystic elements on Nuages Du Monde, the band left them behind again in an attempt to recapture their former glory with a massive set of tracks out of which, hopefully, everyone would find something to enjoy. However, unlike Chimera, the band's latest output doesn't have the strength to stand out as one of Delerium's best records.

Musically, the record is beautifully crafted, but what it lacks is the hooks their 2003 effort and earlier standout, Karma had. For example, tracks like "Monarch", "Frostbite" or "Hammer" have a solid melody behind them, but the vocals lack the power they need and are pretty much forgettable. It's more of a matter of choice over singing duties rather than accusing the artists of not doing a proper job, because some of the tracks here are lovely, such as "The Sky (Tears From Heaven)" featuring long time collaborator Kirsty Thirsk. She gives another great performance, the song suiting her better than the aforementioned cases. "The Sky" resembles more Delerium's late 90s/early 00s style, being a slow, moody number rather than the more poppy affairs the album contains. Also, Thirsk manages to successfully shift from monotone verses to a pristine voice on the chorus giving a soothing feeling most of the songs on Music Box Opera lack.

Even if the listener can count as usual on Kirsty Thirsk to deliver, newcomer Stef Lang steals the spotlight on the album's best numbers, "Chrysalis Heart" and opener "Consciousness Of Love". Her warm voice gorgeously complements the music, easily turning the former into one of the band's best songs in the past decade. First single, "Days Turn Into Nights", is another solid track (also standing out as one of the few Delerium numbers sung by a male voice), Michael Logen doing justice to this nostalgic tune without laying much effort, yet what stands out most is the music behind him. Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb put together a lovely instrumental complete with wah guitars and trademark sequenced synthesizers. All these songs might not seem as good as they are on a first listen, instead they unfold upon repeated listens.

Unfortunately, these highs are not enough to sustain the whole album, as it easily passes past the one hour mark. The two instrumentals, "Rain Down" and "Music Box Opera", might offer a fresh breath midway through the effort and at the end of it, but the whole affair gets rather exhausting after a few listens. The band members show they're still able to craft a good album, but half of the vocals feel uninteresting and forgettable. A return to the mystic atmosphere that records like Karma and even Poem had would be welcomed at this point, because even though Music Box Opera isn't a weak record, it pales in comparison when put alongside the band's classics, much like previous effort, Nuages Du Monde, did.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2012



3335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Unfortunately, this didn't turn out as good as I hoped. Also, Jael's performance doesn't shine this time. Still, there are some great songs that are worth.

Here is an official stream of the album on the band's official website - http://www.delerium.ca/index.php/21-frontpage/frontpage/479-exclusive-stream-listen-to-deleriums-qmusic-box-operaqalbum-in-full

Constructive criticism appreciated.

Digging: Karma To Burn - Arch Stanton

CaptainDooRight
October 30th 2012



28335 Comments


there's actually a band called fauxliage

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2012



4380 Comments


Sweet review, Raul. POS'd. By the way, how did your band's tour go, mate?

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2012



3335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yep Captain and sounds pretty similar to Delerium only it features Leigh Nash as a singer

CaptainDooRight
October 30th 2012



28335 Comments


cool, well rev is gd bro, Pos'd

prolly gonna look into their best album first

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2012



3335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks Captain. You should check Karma first, this is hardly their best stuff.

CaptainDooRight
October 30th 2012



28335 Comments


thx maine will def do

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2012



3335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks mods!

Willie
Moderator
October 30th 2012



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I haven't heard this yet, but I'm bummed that it's two duds in a row. I've got it saved to Spotify for later, though.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Acanthus
October 31st 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't know they were still kicking, can easily see where this would just be "ok" and nothing particularly great.

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2012



3335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, this is Chimera redux for me. It does have some good tracks, but it's forgettable.

Typhoner
October 31st 2012



803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really liked the title track, but wasn't impressed by "Days Turn Into Nights". Didn't hear the rest, but if you say even Jaël's track isn't that great...

Will give it a listen anyway, though.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2012



3335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The title track is cool. Check out The Sky, Chrysalis Heart and Consciousness Of Love at least, they're great. Jaël didn't impress that much on this album really, maybe if she sang a different track it could've been better.

Spare
October 31st 2012



5252 Comments


it's Terrible Album Covers Week on sputnikmusic.com's front page

Digging: Radiator Hospital - Torch Song

Typhoner
October 31st 2012



803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well, this is certainly better than I feared. The tracks you mention are indeed quite good, and I'm a sucker for Jaël so I'm still able to enjoy Light Your Light although her other stuff with Delerium is better.

Acanthus
November 2nd 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Giving this a go, first album by these guys (heard a lot of other tracks though).

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2012



3335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Even though I listened to their records, I usually play only several tracks from them. I rarely have the patience to listen to them in their entirety.



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