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(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 theband's new album. In fact it rarely left our CD player for the first few weeks of its arrival at our headquarters. "Innocence" featuringvocals 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 standouttracks, each with a unique and mesmerising texture. Production qualityof the entire album, right down to the stunning booklet that accompaniesthe 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, Poemis 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.comhere. 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

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