james debate
james debate

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Genre Indie pop/rock
Label Lookout Mountain
Producer Duncan Lewis
Release Date June 22nd

delays star tiger star ariel

Southampton based indie band Delays have always been something of an enigma, ever since their highly promising, highly hyped debut album Faded Seaside Glamour. They have seen exceptional critical acclaim, without ever really achieving major commercial success. Anyone who knows the band and has listened to their music will probably agree that this is a band that should be bigger than it is.

Over the course of their three studio albums, the band has produced some great songs, Long Time Coming, You and Me, Love Made Visible, Hideaway, and more, but the rest has tended to be something of a mixed bag. This fifth album continues in a similar vein.

Airy, ethereal soundscapes are the order of the day, reminiscent of Cocteau Twins or Kyte, but it's the falsetto of front man Greg Gilbert that really distinguishes Delays from other bands. The undoubted highlight of this album, Unsung features Gilbert at his finest. And a good pop song it is, with a driving, feel-good melody, but the slightly bland chorus lets down an otherwise excellent song.

Other particularly catchy tracks include Lost Estate, Lakes Can be Lethal and May 45, each of which is a potential single, though none really match up to the best the band has to offer.

Meanwhile in other songs things slow down more than we're used to from this band, with the creepy Find a Home and the desolate Hold Fire. Delays should be commended for mixing things up a bit, but this is certainly not the best sound for the band, and feels somewhat phoned in.

Ultimately this is a decent enough album, but once again something of a mixed bag. We have one very good song, a couple of good songs, and then the rest, while by no means bad, feels like filler, relying too heavily on repetitive lyrics/melodies and generic choruses. The album is no classic, then, but when the band still has such a knack for producing fine pop songs, I'm prepared to take a few lesser tracks along with them.

Must Listen

May 45 (no link yet)

Lakes Can be Lethal (no link yet)

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