Sunday, October 08, 2006

CD - Delerium - Nuages Du Monde (Clouds of the World)


I'm a huge Delerium fan and own all their albums. I have sung their praises and turned friends onto their music. Their fifth album for Nettwerk Records, Nuages Du Monde (Clouds of the World) is lush, exotic, cinematic, and features a fine assortment of breathy female vocalists, however, the experience is like listening to sonic wallpaper. Songs meander aimlessly. The compositions are not all that memorable. The whole is not greater than the sum of the parts, unfortunately. Despite several listens, this album hasn't gained any traction with me.

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Delerium have 3 phases in their career. Early on, they were darker, gothic, scary, ghostly, with few if any vocals or pop sensibilities, perfect film soundtrack music. Begining with Semantic Spaces, they began their "chanting monks phase," while composing catchier yet distinctive songs and mixing in plenty of breathy female vocals along with exotic instrumentation. Recently, they have become more of an ambient techno project with songs that have well-recorded pieces but taken as a whole, do not impress and are not terribly memorable or distinctive. There are some exceptions, but overall, this is sonic wallpaper.

01. Angelicus - (featuring Isabel Bayrakdarian)
02. Extollere - (featuring Katharine Blake/Mediaeval Baebes)
03. Way You Want It To Be, The - (featuring Zoe Johnston)
04. Indoctrination - (featuring Kiran Ahluwalia)
05. Self-Saboteur - (featuring Kirsty Thirsk)
06. Tectonic Shift
07. Lumenis - (featuring Isabel Bayrakdarian)
08. Fleeting Instant - (featuring Kirsty Hawkshaw)
09. Sister Sojourn Ghost - (featuring Katharine Blake/Mediaeval Baebes)
10. Lost And Found - (featuring Jael)
11. Apparition

Delerium is an off-shoot of the Vancouver-based industrial group Front Line Assembly, and is the product of the imagination of Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber. While the duo have earned significant accolades for their previous compositions in the Delerium world (not to mention Synaesthesia, Noise Unit, Pro Tech, Intermix, Equinox, and
early on, Skinny Puppy), they may need to take a step back next time and really evaluate the compositions and not get themselves lost in the undeniable ethereal, cinematic ethno-ambient glory of it all. In other words, they might be at the point where they could use the ears of a producer.

Like with so many bands who have been around more than 10 years, Delerium's creative energies appear to be all but spent. I hope they were simply unfocused on this album rather than creatively exhausted.

My rating for Nuages Du Monde is 2/5

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