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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Archive:D (DVD)

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Oct
Archive:D (DVD)
Sounds like … a mix between stadium-filling, U2-styled offerings and insightful worship ballads that break out of the contemporary Christian moldAt a glance … these British rockers' best is combined on a unique visual experience that includes music videos, live clips, and backstage footage

Over the span of six studio albums, a tour with Bon Jovi, and a sold-out overseas stadium tour, Delirious has become one of the most respected English imports. Much of the band's appeal stems from its blend of anthemic guitars, memorable choruses, and front man Martin Smith's commanding stage presence. Aside from raising the artistic bar for Christian acts, Delirious has also improved how the mainstream market perceives bands of faith. Whether following the progress of King of Fools on the Billboard Heatseekers charts or pairing with Virgin Records for the brand new World Service CD, Delirious exemplifies a "roaring lambs" worldview.

The bulk of this DVD—the futuristically packaged and themed Archive:D—revolves around the group's best-loved songs in a music video format. The film is at its most arresting on "Sanctify," where the band performs the praise epic in front of a jam-packed stadium. Smith wins over the masses with his charismatic style, coaxing all to lift their hands in praise despite the secular setting. "See the Star" builds off that track's Brit-pop tone, adapting the context of Oasis or the Stereophonics as the band performs in a small rehearsal space. Images of people representing all walks of life highlight God's diverse creation. Equally effective is "Promise," where a series of light bulbs sprinkled throughout the clip bring the cover art from Cutting Edge to life. On a comical note and fellow DVD high point, the five guys pretend they're The Monkees over the surfy "Pursuit of Happiness" (a rarity from the "It's OK" single).

On the less appealing front, there's the relatively plain soundstage setting of "Everything," the sluggish prodding of "It's OK" and the rooftop shooting location for "Deeper." Though "Deeper" itself is enjoyable as a single, that framing idea has been tried countless times before, starting with The Beatles and moving on to U2 and Limp Bizkit. Meanwhile, "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" includes shots of the band at play and on the road mixed with candid crowd photos—an unfortunate distraction from the spiritual lyrics.

The DVD gives fans a personal look at the band. The "View from the Terraces" menu offers behind the scenes footage, plus alternative visuals and camera angles. "D:Facts" provides exhaustive biography information on each group member and factual tidbits that would typically be found in a band's press kit. Even more exciting for diehards is "Pro Mode," which features the promotional films released to media and retail to spread the word about the band's past albums. In addition, the "Live Visuals" section puts computer generated and live graphics to some of the best love songs from last year's concert double disc recording Access:D. The guitar grind of "Fire" is backed by a montage of flame balls, the worshipful "Obsession" features electric currents on the screen, while "Investigate" features dizzying spiral twists.

With all the different segments and song selections Archived has to offer, it's an absolute must purchase for any Delirious fan. And for those who haven't caught the wave yet, this is a multi-sensory introduction to the creative twists and musical turns of these critically acclaimed Brits. All in all, Archive:D is a pleasing precursor to the World Service CD, coming to stores in early February 2004.