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Artist: Delirious?
Label: Furious? Records
Length: 10 tracks / 42:42

Gifted bands that can crank out consistently stellar music are rarer than an albino squirrel. Yeah, they’re out there, but how often can you point one out to a friend and have them see it too? Delirious? is one of those few brilliant bands that has ever-so steadily opened the fuel valve to continually intensify their seemingly eternal flame. With Touch, Delirious? digs a little Deeper to add some more spark to their Glo, but they don’t quite make a true Mezzamorphis.

While the sounds on Touch are undeniably Delirious? (with some great electronic experimentation like they first dabbled in on Mezzamorphis), the lyrics stretch a little more than their direct praise on Glo. Stuart/Garrard generate some memorable lines this time around--“There’s a feeling leading, pleading / Follow where it goes. Excess baggage falling, crawling, throw it all away. My redemption actual, factual / Happening today” (from “Fire”); “I tried to save the world but it fell upon my shoulders...Your love / it is the compass of my heart” (from “Love is the Compass”).

Most of the tracks are Delirious? dancing on the edge (where they’re at their best), but there are some songs that could just have well remained on the demos. “Angel in Disguise” drags with fatigued lyrics and too-intentionally weak vocal delivery. And the closing track, “Stealing Time,” begs for a cold stop to the album after the scorching, feel-good fun of “Waiting for the Summer.”

No, this is not any sort of growth spurt album--Delirious? sound just like you’d expect them to. But, man, they’re consistently good.

Greg Adams 11/18/02

And Delirious should know a little about touching the eternal.  Their music has completely changed worship within the Church.  Their songs have become standards in the arena of contemporary praise.  They have a rich legacy of creating communion with the Creator.  I could sing of my appreciation…well,…forever.

_Touch_ is simply another step in the evolution of Delirious?.  To be honest, few, if any, of these tunes will make it to the lips and lists of worship leaders.  That original purpose seems like a distant memory.  That fact aside, this is a good album.  Real good.  The opening title track builds and boasts that when God “touches” his life he is “born again.”  It’s a great place to start.  Relationships begin in reconnecting with the Eternal.  From here “love is a compass” that “fires” and “shows me heaven.”  Sometimes the singer feels like an “alien” and at other times like an “angel in disguise.”  It’s heartfelt and honest.  Of course, the second half of the disc meanders onto a path towards murky messages of love and life (is he singing about a girl like in “Take Me Away” or God?).

Musically, there are a few highlights.  The catchy crunchy guitar on “Fire” is infectious and the chorus memorable.  “Show Me Heaven” and “Waiting for the Summer” are similar rockers.  “Alien” is special.  Nevertheless, most of the album comes off, in my mind, as a U2 clone, from the Bono-infused vocals to the bass lines and guitar licks.  Of course, if you love U2 then this Delirious? disc will be a perfect pal.  And there are enough un-U2 soundalikes to captivate anyone else.  Nevertheless, it has its moments of mimicry.  Is it Memorex or Bono?  Is it “Touch” or “Grace?”  Are we stuck in a moment we can’t get out of here?

Touch is a fairly decent Delirious? disc.  There’s a lot to enjoy.  But it’s not the Delirious? that I fell in love with.  Nor does it represent the very best of what this band can do.  When it comes to that Delirious? I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

Rick Chromey 12/3/2002


Rick Chromey is a professor of Christian education and youth ministry at Saint Louis Christian College in Florissant, MO.  His wife and two children continue to tolerate his addiction to collecting music, drinking too much Coca-Cola and traveling to exotic locales like Boise and Birmingham.   Rick longs to eventually fulfill his lifelong dream of being a DJ for a “classic Christian rock” station.

Delirious?' new album Touch is a collection of songs taken mostly from its latest UK release Audio Lessonover? Some are altered; a majority aren't--but overall, this collection gives an excellent taste of the band's expanding talent.

This project begins with the title song, "Touch," a heavier version compared to the original (from one of the Deeper E.P.s). The original is bouncier and has more of a pop feel; this formula adds more hard/gritty guitars--and the vocals seem to have a bit more edge as well. But overall, this version is a fine way to start off the album. It's one of the catchiest songs (thanks to its amazing chorus with fabulous vocals and instruments), hooking the listener! The remaining songs after the title track are originally from Audio Lessonover?

"Love is the Compass" is slightly altered, adding a bit more guitar work and further changes in vocals and the bridge (different guitar work, vocal range, etc.). The vocals on this track are fantastic as they show Martin Smith's dynamic range. This version takes on a slower tempo than the original... but is superb nonetheless.

Another remixed song is "Waiting for the Summer" (the opener for _Audio Lessonover?_). The band has deleted most of the background vocals, and that change takes away from the song's pop sound. I admit I prefer the original version because there was more going on with it--as opposed to the _Touch_ version, with heavier guitar work where the background vocals originally were--however, this song is still wonderful. It reminds me a bit more of their older work; it has a good beat, outstanding vocals, and basically, is a foot-tapper for the audience!

Delirious? begins the progressive side of the album with songs like "Fire," "Alien" and "Rollercoaster." "Fire" starts with heavy and slightly distorted guitar work--a heavier sound compared to all other Delirious? work. Though louder, the catchy work of the band is still present in the chorus (especially when the band sings the first part--"I, I, I believe, that the fire is here today..."), and this song again shows Smith's powerful vocals, as he gets pretty intense with the lyrics at the end. "Alien" continues with the "different" Delirious? sound as it seems to become slightly more experimental as in the past. This song is actually quite hard to describe... it's calm, yet it has an edge and a harrowing feel to it at moments. Think Radiohead: melodic and beautifully sung; but it has a (pun intended) cutting edge and creative instrumentation.

"Rollercoaster" features more experimentalism: distorted instruments (even the drums and keys sound distorted at times), an interesting bridge with flutes, etc., which bring in a completely different, almost eccentric, sound for the band. The lyrics are moderately more strained in parts, which add definite character. They are probably the most different, in terms of their progressive sound, but by no means does it render bad results. Each of them adds specific personality to the band and proves that Delirious? has talent to expand and grow--and are extremely good at it, no matter the direction the band pursues!

"Angel in Disguise" is a personal favorite from Audio Lessonover?; and thankfully it hasn't been changed for Touch. It features lovely piano; striking vocals (enhancing the beautiful lyrics) and a relaxing tone. On the flip side of that idea is "Show Me Heaven"--another of the most interesting tunes on the album. The chorus (where the band simply sings, "show me heaven" a few times) is, though simple, the most captivating part. It reminds me, vocally, of U2's "Elevation"; and instrumentally it has some great guitar licks. It's not "poppy catchy," but catchy nonetheless.

"Take Me Away" is another pleasing song with more pop roots, specifically compared to the rest of the collection. It has a faster tempo and bouncier beat; it's simply a fun song.

The closer, "Stealing Time," is very slow and quite mellow as it tones down most instrumental focus, using mainly a computerized-sounding keyboard (I'm not actually sure what that is), and muted drumming in the background as its focus. There are other instruments, but they are by no means the main focus of the song. If anything, Martin's vocals are the focus, and again they enhance his abilities in range and power. "Stealing Time" is a fine closing song, as it winds down all the sounds; and as I mentioned, it is quite relaxing.

Touch is, overall, one of my absolute favorite Delirious? albums. With such a variety of sounds mixed in, from pop to rock to the more progressive sounds, it all shows the band's incredible musical abilities and talent. I very highly recommend this album to each and every Delirious? fan. It is a must-have for anyone's collection!

Jessica Heikoop 01/20/03



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