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World Music CD Reviews North American

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Delerium
Nuages Du Monde
Nettwerk

By Doug Merlino

Published April 24, 2007

Almost 20 years into its career, Vancouver’s Delerium continues to lay the beats, strings, synth sweeps and ethereal female vocals on thick. This split-personality album is divided between ethno-beat soundscapes like those on the band’s 1997 high point, Karma—imagine the soundtrack for the type of IMAX movie where the camera sweeps across the African plain and captures a herd of antelopes springing through the bush—and pop songs like those from 2003’s Chimera. The major-key choruses and anodyne lyrics of the pop songs rub unpleasantly against the moodier, wordless tunes, constricting the flights of imagination inspired by the rest of the album. A total of seven female singers appear; Punjabi singer Kiran Ahluwalia and soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian—who soar (respectively) over “Angelicus” and “Lumenis”—stand out. While the songwriting quality is mixed, the seamless beats and striking vocals deliver sufficiently to make this album worth a listen.

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