King of Fools (Amazon.com)
Last modified: 01 May 1998
Author: Courtenay Kehn
Date: May 1998
In addition to its message of all-out, headlong surrender to the Gospel, Delirious's first widely accessible album also has just plain old good music. Often described as the "new U2," Delirious's resemblance is not hard to detect. Martin Smith's vocals, like Bono's, are far ranging and have a captivating, heart-wrenching emotionalism. The band as a whole has a kind of reckless innovation that consistently surges into stunning new territory. On King of Fools
, for instance, the presence of a violin, a choir, and a Rickenbacker in one song is not an unusual combination, and the use of every kind of guitar in existence seems to be their specialty. Anyone would agree that Delirious is casting a mold of their own. Their hunger for God is strenuous and explores the depths of all
struggles: the longing for more of Him and developing the patience to wait, the struggle for belief when "blood rolls down upon our land" and when love spills "down that wooden cross" ("White Ribbon Day"), and the struggle when the gifts He brings "rob [our] innocence" ("King or Cripple"). In every song, the tension eventually culminates in a contemplation of the Cross--as when in "All the Way" Smith erupts, "with you I'm washed as white as the snow and all crimson stain becomes as a shadow"--and the effect is only more stirring. Never has an album had so much rock and so much passion; listen and you'll be hungry for more.