Image © 2000
(14 January 2001) The latest album by Delerium entitled
Poem (Nettwerk (Canada) 0 67000 30165 2 0) is comprised of eleven
world beat-oriented tracks with vocals contributed by various artists,
including Leigh Nash, the Mediaeval Baebes, Jennifer McLaren, Rami Kamal,
Joanna Stevens, Kirsty Hawkshaw and Matthew Sweet. It is a stunning
collection of widly varying styles with something to suit fans of pop,
alternative, world and new age genres.
Musical Discoveries correspondent K. Don Baer wrote, "Upon
listening to Delerium's new album Poem, I was thrown into a quandary
while trying to identify my reactions to this incredible music. With each
new song, when I was just about ready to settle on a reaction, the music
would take some totally unexpected and unusual twist. I found myself
constantly adjusting my emotional response, to keep up with the music.
Don't misunderstand me, these remarks are not intended to be taken
negatively. On the contrary, I find this album to be truly remarkable
for these very reasons."
Like Don, Musical Discoveries editors were intrigued by the
band's new album. In fact it rarely left our CD player for the first
few weeks of its arrival at our headquarters. "Innocence" featuring
vocals by Leigh Nash, the upbeat "Aria" with the Medieval Babes and
the highly accessible Phil Collins-style "Daylight" with lead vocals
by Matthew Sweet were quickly identified as the album's standout
tracks, each with a unique and mesmerising texture. Production quality
of the entire album, right down to the stunning booklet that accompanies
the compact disc is superb.
Don continued, "I was reminded of a vast and exotic Asian
feast. Having spent nearly six years in the Orient, I was afforded
the opportunity to sample many different delectable dishes, at
numerous feasts. Each serving would be unique and unexpected.
But more than that, each bite would discover some new and unusual
taste, or a hot and tangy spice. The meals were unpredictable, but
when considered on the whole, were more than delicious; they were an
experience unto themselves."
"My reaction to Poem is quite similar in many respects.
The music is unpredictable, with many individual songs changing with
unexpected drama. But the overall organization, the album as a whole,
is indeed a most pleasing, emotional experience. The numerous and
varied artists who contributed to the album provide that savory musical
spice that livens each song. Then Bill Leeb (composer and producer of
the album) somehow manages to weave the entire project together."
"If I had to pick a favorite on this album, it would have to
be "A Poem for Byzantium", co-written and sung by Joanna Stevens.
It is perhaps not the most representative song on the album,
but to my ear, is certainly the most desirable. I obtained the
Limited Edition, which includes a highly recommended bonus
disk as well. It includes four delightful songs, the most exciting
of which features a fantastic remix of "Silence", from Delerium's
previous album, Karma, sung and co-written by Sarah McLachlan."
Don and our editorial staff agreed that all-in-all, Poem
is one of the most unusual and thoroughly enjoyable albums that we have heard recently.
You can read further reviews and order the album from amazon.com
This album should certainly be explored in detail, especially as a recommended introduction to those who have not heard Delerium before, it is worth a long distance journey—a must listen!—K. Donald Baer and Russ Elliot