World Service (Delirious.org.uk)
Last modified: 07 Nov 2003
Author: Dave and Melissa Wood
Date: 07 Nov 2003
'World Service' is the sixth studio album from Delirious? and from it's title alone the band set out their intention of wanting to serve the world with their music. The album was recorded during periods of both sorrow and happiness and is the culmination of nearly a year's hard work.
Grace Like A River
[4:06] - 4/5 stars
"A love so undeserved you held nothing in reserve, heaven played its symphony I took Your hand and You rescued me"
A screeching guitar rhythm opens the album with a full strength Delirious? anthem. During the verses the guitars lull briefly for the vocals which are coaxed from Martin Smith's voice and interspersed with the rising and falling guitars which lead to the bridge "I took your hand and you rescued me". Reaching the chorus, Stu G joins in to echo the line "Grace like a river" as Martin continues with "is flowing down".
[4:51] - 4/5 stars
"Looks like tonight, the sky is heavy, Feels like the winds are gonna change"
A dramatic muted start builds into a beating tempo that leads to a pounding mix of guitar, bass and drums, Rain Down has a multiple blend of layers. Peel back the vocals and there is a looping series of notes at the core. The song is centred around the plea "Rain Down, my heart is dry". Halfway through is a taste of the song 'live', as a crowd join in for a brief moment. A potential new Delirious? anthem has been born.
God In Heaven
[4:28] - 5/5 stars
"The sound of heaven on this earth will sing, 'To God in Heaven be the glory'... greater things are yet to come"
From the opening bar it is clear that this track wants to scream out and be heard. The punchy intro makes way for more gently sung lyrics which breaks out in the resounding exclamation of the chorus "..this earth will sing, to God in Heaven be the glory!". A heavy weighted rock song which is without a doubt one of the highlights of the album.
Majesty (Here I Am)
[5:31] - 4/5 stars
"Now I've found the greatest love of all is mine since You laid down Your life, the greatest sacrifice"
A haunting sound trickles along as this song assembles itself with a delicately plucked guitar, simple beat and beautiful strings. "Here I am, humbled by Your majesty" croons Martin, "knowing I'm a sinful man" he admits. The vocals themselves generate power and feeling, and the passion evident in the stunning chorus is remarkable: "Majesty, Majesty, forever I am changed by Your love, in the presence of Your majesty". Later a choir provides further strength and emotion resounds inspirationally in the air. This exquisite song has already demonstrated its popularity on MP3.com and the poignancy of the track is likely to augment its status.
[5:41] - 5/5 stars
"Inside outside pulling me in, no matter where I run I know You never give in"
A simple beat and echoing tune accompany Stu G as he takes a turn singing the verses - a stunning performance. "Inside outside under my skin" he sings with an almost whispered voice, the words flowing along with little space between the lines. Handing smoothly over to Martin for the chorus, the gentle motion remains but the words become stronger. "You still captivate me, fascinate me". Halfway through the volume steps up as Martin cries out his words, before sliding away to return to the quietness of the bridge. A sublime track, possibly the best on the album, and one of those tunes that stays in your head long after the CD has finished.
[3:59] - 3/5 stars
"I'm free to be the man You want me to be, I'm alive when I'm alive in you"
Twisting along moodily through the verse, 'Free' is a slower track with a gentle beat and a soaring chorus. Containing a fine blend of high and low pitched guitars and an orchestral sound towards the end, the music dominates the song. Perhaps not the strongest track on the album, but still very good.
[4:30] - 2/5 stars
"Everyone knows that this fire burns"
The song starts almost acoustically, with a simple strumming accompanying the vocals. Rising as if about to take off, but then falling back again, it keeps you guessing. Curious electronic whistling sounds echo around and vocal harmonies ring out in the background. Missing the big chorus of earlier songs and seemingly lacking similar passion, it is easily the weakest track on the album.
[4:36] - 4/5 stars
"Nothing left to say, when my heart it burns with holy fire don't get in my way"
A dominant drum beat and keyboard tune open the song and at times are the sole accompaniment to Martin's shadowy vocals. When guitars join in at the chorus the effect is musically enchanting. With a shouted distorted mid-section the song steps up a level and enters Radiohead territory. Sonically different for Delirious?, but the result is brilliant.
[3:55] - 5/5 stars
"Sorrow came to visit us today, was the longest day was the loneliest day"
An emotionally charged song recounting the way the band felt at the sudden loss of a close relative. As the piano gently plays a simple set of notes, Martin recalls how "sorrow came quicker than a fire" with grief and anguish in his voice. Becoming increasingly desperate he cries out "only You can pull me up". The sentiment of this song transfers with ease through the music to the listener. A dazzling rollercoaster played with a lump in its' throat.
I Was Blind
[5:52] - 4/5 stars
"I was blind but now I see, I was broken but you carried me"
This song of love to God is a moving ballad that excels in it's simplicity. Singing softly with lines like "Your kindness, it brings me to my knees" and then more powerfully "I was guilty but you turned me around". The tenderness and affection are magnified by the tone of Martin's voice. Immersing themselves in the music for the final two minutes, Delirious? manage to engulf the listener with a beautiful ambience.
Feel It Comin On
[5:10] - 5/5 stars
"I feel it comin on, when you call my name it feels like heaven"
From the initial stages of the track you can sense it simmering, but holding back as if to restrain itself. As its reaches towards a crescendo the words "I feel it coming on" are almost screamed out. At the heart of the song a sensational and frenzied guitar solo threatens to explode, before a sense of calm is gradually restored. Ending with the repeated question "will you hold me tonight?". Superb.
Every Little Thing
[4:34] - 4/5 stars
"Everything must change, there's a mirror showing me the other truth"
A second song written after a period of sorrow, this passionate ballad brings a message of hope with it's reassuring chorus of "Every little thing is going to be alright". Stirring lines such as "I will carry you if you'll carry me" mixed with stunningly performed instruments make this an intimate and contagious song that draws you in and holds you tight. A fitting finale for the album.
There are few weak songs on 'World Service' and indeed a number have the potential to become absolute favourites with fans. The often complex layers of sounds require multiple listens to fully appreciate their ingenuity. Perhaps anxious to explore their creativity further, Delirious? have co-produced the album and tracks such as 'With You' and 'Feel It Comin On' demonstrate newly developed directions for the band. 'Majesty' and 'Every Little Thing' make you want to close your eyes and listen to their beauty, whilst 'God In Heaven' demands to be shouted from on high. A stunning album which charts the highs and lows of a band on a journey.