Delphic finally released the follow-up to 2010’s glorious debut album Acolyte this week, for those of you wanting Acolyte 2 you are going to be sadly disappointed! In the 3 years since their debut the band have moved on from the indie dance crossover which harked back to Manchester’s musical heritage to create a sound all of their own, whilst not sticking to the same formula is to be embraced the departure does feel a couple of steps too far.
Album opener Of The Young is the closest reference point back to Acolyte with a pulsing base line, buzzing synths and a soaring chorus which kicks off the album nicely. Baiya is up next which was recently released as a single, has been getting plenty of radio play as well as sounding really good in the live sets towards the end of 2012, this track is the positive side of Delphic’s new sound with breakbeat bass line and drums fused with strings and the vocal pushed to the fore.
On the flip side of this new Delphic sound you have Freedom Found which draws influence from 80’s R n B slow jams and is pretty forgettable. Atlas is another track I’ve heard live and is pretty epic starting off with a bluesy guitar riffs that builds before dropping into a dubstep breakdown and then takes you on a floating journey with some beautiful vocal harmonies.
Tears Before Bedtime is the simplest track on the album and is all the better for it, using a piano hook over which a voicemail message plays along with a haunting choir section, strangely mesmerizing. There are lots of pop elements running through the album which are in evidence on The Sun Also Rises with a chorus that could have been written by Duran Duran.
Memeo sees yet another genre make an appearance, this time hip-hop and I’m not quite sure what to make of it! Whilst I wouldn’t say it was bad it just doesn’t sit right. Don’t Let The Dreamers Take You Away goes all ballad and harmonies with the slow jam in evidence again and like Freedom Found fades away into the background.
Album closer Exotic has the hip-hop beat back again and this time features a guest rap alongside the vocal with lots of bleeps, synths and at times what sounds like a computer game! There’s just too much going on here which sums up the whole album. By incorporating so many styles and genres it feels confused with no central theme to hold it together, whilst there are some great moments on this album it’s a collection of songs rather than a complete album, which is maybe what the band were aiming for given the title?
1. Of The Young 2. Baiya 3. Changes 4. Freedom Found 5. Atlas 6. Tears Before Bedtime 7. The Sun Also Rises 8. Memeo 9. Don’t Let The Dreamers Take You Away 10. Exotic