Your Ad Here

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Track-by-Track: Delays - Star Tiger, Star Ariel

As far as I'm concerned, Delays don't need to do anything to prove themselves. Releasing an album as brilliant and perfect as 2006's You See Colours qualifies them automatically for hall-of-fame status. Seriously, it's been almost half a decade and I'm still not over that one. Their other albums are great, too. Unfortunately, their new release doesn't quite follow suit. There are highlights, sure, but as a whole it's a bit of a muddled affair.

1. Find A Home (New Forest Shaker) - A subdued beginning to the album, this nocturnal chant of a song builds into something quite special towards the end. It lulls you into listening. 8/10

2. The Lost Estate - The album kicks into gear here, with the kind of uptempo anthem we're used to from Delays. It's one of the highlights, for sure. Even so, it doesn't come close to their very best material. 9/10

3. Shanghaied - A rockier, guitar-led track with some very odd, jerky verses. The chorus is definitely the best part, with limited use of synths and an aggressive vocal turn. 8/10

4. Rhapsody - A classic Delays midtempo, full with dreamy vocals and a peaceful, laid-back melody. The bridge is by far the best part. The chorus is, unfortunately, a little repetitive. 8/10

5. May '45 - Another uptempo, rockier track. All it lacks is a strong chorus/hook. The verses are great, as is the production. 8/10

6. Hold Fire - Begins with a minute-long, unnecessary intro, which segues into one of the album's slowest tracks. Unlike the opener, the melody here just doesn't compel me to keep listening. At five minutes, it kills the energy. Would be a great b-side, though. 7/10

7. Unsung - The obvious single, and the closest the album gets to the amazingness of the last three albums. It's still not one of their better singles, but it stands out here with its enormous chorus, bright synths and gorgeous vocals. 10/10

8. In Brilliant Sunshine - No offense to Aaron, who's got a perfectly fine indie-rock voice, but when you're a band fronted by a guy like Greg, why have anyone else sing the songs? Seriously, it bugs me to no end, and was my biggest problem with the last release. It's like when Queen would give a song to any non-Freddie band member. With Greg's choirboy vocals this might have been amazing. As it stands, it's a forgettable wall-of-sound uptempo number. 7/10

9. Moment Gone - Coasts along at the same tempo as Hold Fire, but the melody's much better. In fact, as far as Delays ballads are concerned, it's one of my favorites. The melody in the chorus is gorgeous. 9/10

10. Lakes Can Be Lethal - The turning point, where the album starts sounding less and less like what you'd expect from Delays. In a way, this is a transitional song. There's nothing particularly memorable. It's pleasant enough, but as the album's longest track, it's the weakest link for me. 6/10

11. Star Tiger, Star Ariel - Ups the tempo a bit (and definitely the guitars). This is much more of a classic rock sound for the band, and while it's not the direction I'd like them to take, it's a lot stronger than the last song. 7/10

Album Grade: 7.9/10



Post a Comment

<< Home