"World Service" - Music Review
- 2004 17 Feb
Like the custom of taking a proper afternoon tea, the tabloid fascination with the royal family or the Euro-pop renderings of Britain’s favorite son, Robbie Williams, Delirious’ music has sometimes been a little lost in translation when making the proverbial leap across the pond to America.
And that’s not to say the band hasn’t been successful in the United States. After all, Delirious practically wrote one of the earliest chapters of the modern-worship movement with the release of its double-disc effort "Cutting Edge" (Sparrow) that introduced church audiences to songs including “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever,” “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?” and “The Happy Song.” But it’s when the band has wholeheartedly embraced its inner rock star with rollicking efforts like "Mezzamorphis" (Sparrow) and "Touch" (Furious) that some listeners were left scratching their heads, asking, “Who is this band? Are they rock stars or worship leaders?” And, the truth is, Delirious has always been a bit of both as it’s managed to seamlessly weave these two elements into its live shows.
But with the release of "World Service," the band has succeeded in bridging this somewhat confusing gap between rock and worship with an album that could be dubbed "Cutting Edge circa 2004." However, unlike its predecessor, the soundtrack is decidedly more hi-fi with modern, sweeping musical arrangements, plenty of the U2-esque guitar riffs that have shaped Delirious’ sound and catchy, congregational-friendly hooks that bring previous anthems like “History Maker” and “Deeper” to mind.
From the opening strains of “Grace Like a River,” to the reflective, plaintive closer “Every Little Thing,” there’s a cohesive theme of worship and personal reflection that resonates throughout. While the lyrics are simple enough to sing in a Sunday morning service, frontman Martin Smith’s words ring with depth, most notably on the gorgeous string-driven track “Majesty (Here I Am)” and the assertive guitar declaration of “Free.”
Just when it seems that worship songs may have potentially reached their creative zenith, both musically and lyrically speaking, as the modern praise movement surges on, Delirious has aptly provided a handful of new songs for the church to sing on "World Service." And with its universal bent, surely this is a language everyone will understand.
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