Delerium
Poem


4.0
excellent

Review

by AggravatedYeti USER (46 Reviews)
May 4th, 2010 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Tribal industrial electro hip-pop trance -- or something like that.

Gregorian Chants, they broke US airwaves and poured out club speakers; with Gregorian Chants. Not to undersell the music in any way, but Delerium are not frequently remembered for their deep tribal hip-hop beats, or luscious, entrancing synth fills or superb choice of vocal talent - its always the ***ing chants. Hardened Industrial gurus Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber, both of Front Line Assembly, who make up (most of) Delerium even thought the chants were a shot in the dark. They waited two years to even release the Sarah McLachlan helmed “Silence” as a third single. But when the dance floors of the world heard the deep bass and uplifting, almost spiritual acid house matched with the hooks of McLachlan’s (angelic) best performance maybe ever -- it was almost unstoppable. It also didn’t hurt that a lame film with a great marketing campaign decided to champion the track in their 9000 previews a night. Really though, who would want to stop it" The song was bursting with hooks, and those damn chants. Their previous album, and second as this particular “duo,” Karma was a slice of tribal dance pop heaven. Again not to cast down on the use of the chants, it is that whole mixing pot aspect of these Vancouver pop mastermind’s diverse world palette that adds so much to Delerium in the first place. Just when it comes to ascending the heights of dance-pop chartdom around the world, color me surprised

Personal vendettas aside, the chants are actually not only a key part of Delerium’s music, but following Karma‘s success, almost became somewhat of a calling card for them. So much so its almost impossible to make it through a Delerium record without some high-flying, bass bumping spiritual trance ascension. Not that it is a bad thing, but with how effective the transition went from a less abrasive industrial crunch to a Gregorian acid house bump, it was a bit unnerving to hear that half of Delerium was jumping ship.

Two albums prior ex-Front Line Assembly members Leep and Fulber joined forces to take the current Delerium sound, a less ape-*** offshoot of Front Line’s crushing industrial, to a pop-friendly dance mix that smashed hip-hop, big-beat and trance together along with various other world music influences ranging from samba and dub to African pop. With Poem, their tenth (but really third) album, Leeb is once again left to his own devices, as Fulber decided to step down from his position. Wouldn’t be the first time Bill was solo (not really with all those guests) but rather than going at it alone, Leeb had decided to enlist the help of electronic producer Chris Peterson, another Canada native up to his ears in the industrial scene -- it was a perfect gamble.

Whether Poem is their best album or not isn’t really the question - its not. What the album can amount to though is a solid representation and logical progression for the group and more concrete evidence that if you work on a Delerium track, it could turn out to be your best. Regardless of all the cool tweaks and woozy programming one may encounter during a Delerium album it is always about the vocals. Which is something impressive in it’s own right, that the performances are so rich so gripping, that what would essentially be a piping-hot trance track is overshadowed by the voices. Time after time the group takes seemingly lame vocalists (Leigh Nash, Sarah McLachlan, Jenifer McLaren, Matthew Sweet) and breaths life into their performances. Nash alone has almost built up a second career beyond her Six Pence days as a Canadian Electronic Music darling. Even grouping up with Leeb and Fulber for the Fauxliage project (basically a Leigh fronted Delerium), but once you hear her turn on “Innocence (Falling In Love),” once that beat kicks up an Leigh’s voice floats it’s way in-between the snyths; that is all it takes. The forlorn chorus on that song alone is more convincing than any amount of previous “kiss me’s” could hope to be. Coupled with the whole fact that nearly everything else about the music is spot on (surging beat, ethereal feel, epic keys), its almost just a nice surprise to have the vocals pop as effectively, but they always do.

Later in their career Bill and Rhys would reform and are still the current incarnation of Delerium and following Poem’s release the group would stray even further from their ambient and industrial leanings moving towards the poppier side of things. What makes Poem important is not so much that it is a good album (great even), or that it stands as arguably their best (its not). Even that with the departure of an integral member Leeb was able to cut his losses, recruit a pro and produce a follow-up LP that easily lives up to expectations -- its that they did it so well no one really ever assumed anything changed. Its not so much that Delerium had gone through all this turmoil, a road-block bypassed, but they basically had to shove the proof in your face to make you believe. Which is saying a lot for a band who did so many things right in the first place. Poem was yet another exclamation for Leeb of his inability to stay in once place, find solace in his home and be content with just a few friends. For the rest of us, it was just that much more proof of how he should never stop.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
AggravatedYeti
May 4th 2010


7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kghh98C6Few

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35_w9d6uwsA



js.

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2010


11776 Comments


SOUNDS LIKE - ST. ETIENNE

Digging: Violents and Monica Martin - Awake and Pretty Much Sober

Willie
Moderator
May 4th 2010


17315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. I like this album, but the one after it is much better (I prefer their pop sound over their new age dance shit).



A couple of things I want to point out:

Ex-Industrial gurus Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber, both of Front Line Assembly
I wouldn't call them ex-industrial gurus since they're still releasing industrial albums to this day (FLA has a new album out next month, actually, and Rhys just finished with the last Fear Factory album a few months back).



Also, Rhys ditched Delerium to make his own Delerium-type album with a band he calls Conjure One. They're not nearly as good, but I'm just throwing it out there ;)

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2010


32190 Comments


I really do not like Delerium

I quite like the review though

AggravatedYeti
May 4th 2010


7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Conjure One worth checking out Trey? I'm a big fan of their new age but Chimera is also a favorite. "After All" and "Truly" -- yes.

and thanks, nice to know they're still making music and I will fix the error.



ya well Delerium doesnt like you Deviant, I think ur ok tho. :D



and no rudy sounds like shout out louds ttruustt me.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 4th 2010


32190 Comments


ya well Delerium doesnt like you Deviant, I think ur ok tho. :D

I genuinely lol'd to that

I've heard good things about these guys, and I respect that they are talented, its just I can't dig trance outside of say a Saturday night

AggravatedYeti
May 5th 2010


7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha, I love trance 24/7



or like at least 18/6.

alachlahol
May 5th 2010


7593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow this is pretty badass

AggravatedYeti
May 5th 2010


7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn right.

alachlahol
May 5th 2010


7593 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

most of the album reminds me of the song from Matrix Reloaded (Zion by Fluke)



though this is like acoustic gothic trance chants whatever the hell

Willie
Moderator
May 5th 2010


17315 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Conjure One worth checking out Trey?
The second album is worth listening to from time to time. It's called Extraordinary Ways and is similar to later Delerium. Poppy electro with lots of guest vocalists (they're coming out with another album soon, too).



There's also Fauxliage that is the two guys (Bill and Rhys) from Delerium with Leigh Nash. She's sang on a few Delerium songs and is part of Sixpence None the Richer. It's basically an extention of the songs that she's done with Delerium (i.e. really good).

AggravatedYeti
May 5th 2010


7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah Ive had Fauxliage's album for about a year now, its good, just it got a bit too boring after a few repeated listens but Ive been on a serious Delerium kick lately so I'll probably listen to it anyways.

Also I'll try to find me some Conjure One thanks.



and yes Ala, see -- the chants!

so good tho

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 1st 2014


4400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A Poem For Byzantium is their best track along with Silence.

Digging: Wordclock - Heralds



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