Produced By: Bill Leeb
- Terra Firma (featuring Aude)
- Innocente (featuring Leigh Nash)
- Aria (featuring the Mediaeval Baebes)
- Fallen Icons (featuring Jenifer McLaren)
- Underwater (featuring Rani Kamal)
- Myth (featuring Joanna Stevens)
- Nature's Kingdom (featuring Kirsty Hawkshaw)
- Daylight (featuring Matthew Sweet)
- A Poem for Byzantium (featuring Joanna Stevens)
- Amongst the Ruins
- Silence (featuring Sarah McLachlan; remixed by Airscape)
- Flowers Become Dreams (featuring Kristy Thirsk; remixed by Deepsky)
- Inner Sanctum (featuring Kirsty Hawkshaw)
- Nature's Kingdom II (featuring Jenifer McLaren)
by the ethereal
, released by Nettwerk Productions
in 2000 CE
is probably the most pop
-ish of Delerium's releases to date. There are many problems with this album, mostly due to Rhys Fulber
's departure from the band. Fulber was Delerium's musical
half; in interviews he has stated that Bill Leeb
would come up with concepts, write lyrics and bring in samples, while Fulber was the one who actually turned the concept into music. This album suffers enormously for being without him.
I can just imagine the conversation that the Nettwerk recording executives had with Bill Leeb when this album was suggested:
"Bill, we've got a whole buch of little-known Canadian singers on our label, most of whom can't sing for shit. But we've signed them, though, so we have to make money off them somehow. Go do some decent backing music for them so fewer people will notice how bad they are, and the Americans will buy more of our albums."
Most of the singers on this album are terrible. They're the sort of two-tone caterwauling hacks you expect to find on cheap house dubs. The only saving grace of this album is that Delerium's backing is stupendous... for pop music. But virtually every song on the album lacks the complexity and innovation of Delerium's earlier work (probably due to Fulber's departure), and is unfortunately saddled with some really bad singing. Most of the tracks would be much better if the vocals were edited out.
The most disappointing thing about this album, though, was to find Delerium re-using a bunch of their samples. Ordinarily I wouldn't have a problem with this, but I've noticed five or six samples that are really obviously left over from Karma (Delerium's 1998 release) that were just patched in because they filled a gap. Once again, this is probably due to the fact that Rhys Fulber wasn't around.
Now, here's the shocker:
I didn't hate Poem. There are enough tracks on the CD to still make it worth listening to, if not actually worth buying, unless you're a raving Delerium fanatic like me. Here are the really good ones:
- Track 3: Aria, with vocals by the Mediaeval Baebes, lyrics by Katharine Blake, and music by Katharine Blake and Bill Leeb. The best track on the CD. The Mediaeval Baebes are British, and all sorts of sexy, and... well, read my node on them. Drool, swoon, and drool some more. One of my favorite singing groups of all time. This song alone would make this CD worth buying, if it wasn't already on the Mediaeval Baebes' album Undrentide, which has sixteen other beautiful songs on it as well. Plug, plug.
- Track 7: Nature's Kingdom, with vocals by Kirsty Hawkshaw, written by Kirsty Hawkshaw and Bill Leeb. I don't know what it is about this song... it reminds me of what would happen if you crossed Sarah McLachlan and the Cocteau Twins with Lycia in one of their more lucid moments. It's pretty. Really pretty, actually. I listen to this song a lot.
- Track 8: Daylight, vocals and lyrics by Matthew Sweet, written with Bill Leeb. Matthew Sweet's a pretty fair singer, although I don't go for his style of voice that much. I like the song overall, though.
- Track 10: A Poem for Byzantium, vocals and lyrics by Joanna Stevens, music by Bill Leeb. Definitely, emphatically a pop-ish song, but well-done enough that I actually enjoyed it.
Those are the tracks that really stood out. There's other decent stuff on there, too, but definitely give this album a listen before you decide to buy it, if you can.