Cutting Edge (Crosswalk.com)
Last modified: 05 Feb 1998
Author: David Longenecker
Date: 05 Feb 1998
Raw, tender, passionate and inspired: the sound of Deliriou5? has been making thousands of friends since 1992. They spent the early years firing up the UK underground Christian scene with recordings that revolutionized its music. Known as the "Cutting Edge Tapes," they are a journey, stopping off every once in a while to check the view and fuel up.
Question: What do you get when you mix the Altar Boys, The Kry, and Caedmon's Call, and have them sing upbeat contemporary praise and worship music?
Answer: Deliriou5?, one of the most innovative bands to come out of the United Kingdom in a while. A band that began as an experiment in "church without boundaries," they have steadily built a loyal following throughout the UK and helped to revolution the notion of "Church Music." Much like the World Wide Message Tribe has shown that Christians can have a wild time with techno-pop dance music, Deliriou5? has shown an innate ability to capture a particular mood with their music, and then run with it. It's praise and worship taken to the next level, and is a fresh encounter with worship for me.
Cutting Edge is an anthology of their four previous indie releases, and is how their music is now available in the United States. A two CD collection with 25 songs and well over two hours of music, Cutting Edge is by far one of the best buys in Christian music at the moment. You can follow the band's growth in musical style and experience, while at the same time marveling at the worshipful spirit the band members each express throughout the CDs.
One of my favorite tracks is the second one on the first CD, "Singers Song." Bassist Jim Bryan has a blast with his instrument, throwing in a funky groove to begin the song, and playing all over the spectrum throughout the song. "Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord. As Your people Lord we sing with thankfulness. We want our lives to be a song of praise. Banners we will wave to proclaim that 'He is good for His love endures forever.' "
"Thank You for Saving Me" shows the bands knack for ad libbing and running with the moment. A prayerful song of thanks for the Lord's forgiveness and mercy, it blows me away with its simplicity. "Thank You for saving me, what can I say? You are my everything, I will sing your praise. You shed Your blood, what can I say? You took my sin and shame, a sinner called by name." As the song winds down, though, the drummer kicks back in with an encore, and the rest of the band immediately picks up the cue and follows with a beautiful expression of praise and soulful improv.
"The Happy Song" is one of the funkiest tracks. It's laced with a sweet blues-ish harmonica, a fast rocking beat, a dose of tambourine, and lots of good ol' country rock fun.
Disk 2 opens with a powerful 10-minute song by the name of "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?" Laced with U2- and REM-style electric guitar rolls, the liner notes call it "a sonic tidal wave, a spiritual battering ram." If the mountains can tremble when the people of God join voices, imagine how the devil must react ... he must be shaking in his boots!
Another powerful, hard-hitting song is "I'm Not Ashamed." I thought I was listening to the Altar Boys for a minute, but this is very definitely Deliriou5?. They sing this simple message with such conviction that it about knocks me on my back (it doesn't hurt that I've got the radio blasting about as loud as the speakers will handle, though!).
Cutting Edge is likely to stay in my CD player for a while. It's a wonderful collection of some of the most innovative music I've heard in a while. Though it's laced with sounds from last decade and this, and sounds reminiscent of numerous other bands, this band stands out in my mind.