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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Delirious? -- Glo

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9/10

Sometime in the middle of college, my mother handed me her copy of Delirious?'s Glo. "See if you like this," she said. "I thought I would, but I can't understand anything they're saying." Delirious? are from England, and unlike my mother, I grew up on a steady diet of PBS-available British television. After so many hours of Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, 'Allo! 'Allo!, Black Adder, Mr. Bean, and anything else public television had to offer, I was officially a British citizen. Okay, maybe not, but I could easily understand what they were saying, and Delirious?'s vocals gave me no trouble. Unfortunately, I listened to Glo a couple of times and put it away. I found some of the opening tracks to be derivative of Radiohead's OK Computer, and thinking I had another Christian ripoff of a secular band in my hands, I dismissed Glo altogether. The lesson I've continued to learn all my life, though, is that it pays to be thorough.
Glo is not a ripoff of OK Computer, or any other album. It is a treat, a vast experiment of joyful sound from a band that was a stalwart in the industry. The end of track three, "God's Romance" takes a nod from Radiohead's "Airbag" for a brief moment, and the following track, "Investigate" channels a bit of "Paranoid Android" at the start. In an album that flows from one sound to the next, it's almost like a quick admirable homage to a band that's made such a mark, not only on the British Isles, but the world. It's a couple of minutes out of seventy-one. Delirious? also gives a nod to Achtung Baby-era U2 on "Everything" and the just released Agaetis Byrjun by Sigur Ros at the start of "What Would I Have Done?"
In other words, Glo acts as a sort of tour of turn-of-the-century rock, all while worshiping God. It's quite a monumental achievement, only done in by it's colossal length. While musical complacency plagues certain Hillsong Worship albums (which often feature large chunks of ten-minute ballads that seem to go nowhere), Delirious?'s invention and exploration throughout Glo is restless. The use of raucous backup vocals, monk chanting, choirs, electronics, and celestial strings is always unexpected and well-planned--vital to the songs instead of just being unnecessary garnishment.

Glo never drags, it just features a few songs (the generic, poppy "Hang On To You" for instance) that are weaker than the others. Seventy-one minutes of perfect music is tough to achieve, and minus a few clunkers, Delirious?'s ambitious Glo comes close.

2000 Furious? Records
1. God You Are My God 3:45
2. Glo In The Dark, Pt. 1 2:45
3. God's Romance 6:58
4. Investigate 4:09
5. Glo In The Dark, Pt. 2 3:42
6. What Would I Have Done? 6:06
7. My Glorious 6:09
8. Everything 3:39
9. Hang On To You 4:20
10. Intimate Stranger 7:26
11. Awaken The Dawn 4:14
12. Glo In The Dark, Pt. 3 3:37
13. The Years Go By 3:50
14. Jesus' Blood 5:54
15. Glo In The Dark, Pt. 4 4:58

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