Last modified: 01 Jun 1999
Author: Laura R. MacCorkle
Date: Jun 1999
Not a science fair project. Nor a chapter in your biology textbook. Mezzamorphis is a combination of two words: mezzanine (the "in-between" place) and metamorphosis (a change). And it's also the title of the new project from Delirious.
(Okay, now comes the time when the music reviewer typically talks about the music, the players, the producer, the inspiration, and perhaps shares a few favorite tracks.) But, before I get to the predictable... let me do something a little unpredictable first. Let me share a small confession.... When I first knew I would be reviewing Mezzamorphis, I confess that I wasn't really that excited. The initial thought ("Oh great, another project birthed out of this generation's popular 'praise and worship continuum'") was abruptly interrupted when I actually popped the CD in the player. And I sat in my easy chair very much corrected.
Pleasantly surprised - not "stunned" as some reviewers may claim to be - is how I have felt. And while it's not ground-breaking music [even though it was mixed by Jack Joseph Puig (Eric Clapton, Semisonic, Tonic)], it is nonetheless a good step to the next level for Delirious. Yes, indeed, the fab five Brits who only "landed on American soil" with their brand of progressive worship sounds a few years ago have taken their music and ministry to the next level. But while Mezzamorphis may be a little edgier than 1998's King of Fools, it's still full of the same spirit and passion for Jesus.
If you don't know much about Delirious, chew on this... in less than 24 months, they've released three CDs featuring all of their music efforts from the past seven years. Sparrow Records released Cutting Edge, a pop/worship two-disc set, in 1997. One year later, King of Fools was released (already one-year-old in the U.K. at the time and "Deeper" had achieved success as a mainstream single). Now arriving in 1999, Mezzamorphis is poised to give another shot in the arm for the Delirious frenzy.
Memorable cuts on the project? Only a few really stand out. "Beautiful Sun" features Bono-esque vocals - la lead singer Martin Smith and lyrically focuses on the need for the presence of the physical sun and the heavenly Son in our lives. A straight-forward praise song, "Love Falls Down" is a pop-influenced response to God with a great, easy-going groove that the band says should sound even better performed live. Guess you'll have to see them at a tour stop near you to find out now, won't you?
Finally, "Bliss" could surely be the background music for a Jolt Cola commercial with its healthy dose of guitar-laden, funkadelic rock. And I think I detected an understood (yet unsaid) "break down" right before the let-loose chorus. But, besides that and besides being my pick song on the CD, "Bliss" pretty much sums up what Delirious' mission is: to have their music (with uncompromising messages still intact) be taken outside the church and accepted right alongside secular music.
So, boiling the whole Mezzamorphis experience all down, what's most impressive about Delirious... their message, their music, or their mission? I argue for mission, as it's highly commendable and biblical. Why not try to reach non-Christians and have music that rivals U2, Oasis, and Radiohead? And what else could be a more effective way to reach the world than to have Christian music played on secular radio... and reaching those who need to hear the message of truth and hope? Isn't that what "being in the world and not of it" is all about... anyway?