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42
3.2 out of 5 stars
Collections
Format: Audio CDChange
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2014
We get very angry about the state of popular music and we want to bloody change it. And why shouldn’t we?’ says frontman Rick Boardman. Delphic dabble in all kinds of genres with this album, be it hip hop (!), electronica, pop or house. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it sometimes just feels really forced, overproduced or simply out of place. Atlas, for example, starts like a typical Delphic song (in light of Acolyte) but halfway through the song it feels more like a remix due to the unlikely dub interlude. The single Baiya flirts with exotic funk sounds. If you didn’t like the single much, you won’t like the rest of the album either. On Changes they have a try at rap which doesn’t seem to want to fit the mellow chorus. On Exotic synthetic beat boxing is used as well as hip hop guest vocals.

The opener Of The Young (“The night is always of the young”) is an upbeat pop song that seems like an obvious choice for a second single but in parts it’s just a little too similar to fun.’s We Are Young (“Tonight, we are young”).

Boardman’s vocal range also seems too limited in same parts, like the falsetto over a 2:50 minute monologue on Tears Before bedtime.

“All hell is breaking lose” is the promise made by Delphic’s current single Baiya but unfortunately the same can’t be said for the album. It wasn’t until the seventh song of the 10 track album The Sun also Rises that Delphic were able to capture my attention with this mostly mid-tempo record. Other than The Sun also Rises the album doesn’t live up to the bold promise made in Baiya and is exceptionally dull and overproduced synth-pop (Freedom Found, Don’t Let The Dreamers Take You Away).

Granted that Delphic have moved on in their three years of absence but I’m afraid that so have their fans. ‘We’d been touring for two years,’ says Rick Boardman. “We were just creatively burnt out’. And it seems they still are.

Overall Collections is rather disappointing. It’s a mix rather than a collection and lacks cohesiveness. If you’re looking for a good electro pop album Everything Everything’s Arc or Ra Ra Riot’s Beta Love are the better choice at the beginning of this year.

indieisnotagenre.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2013
As much as I don't want to, I have to agree with the haters on this one.

Acolyte was a fantastic album and put Delphic straight on the map, but 'Collections' has gone some way to undoing all of that for me. Gone are the catchy beats and hook eminent of 'Remain' and Sumner-esque 'Doubt' only to be replaced by a tepid and rather limp offering of clichéd and incohesive drivel with off cast, dispensable lyrics.

OK, so 'Of The Young' is actually a pretty good track and on first listen gave Collections immense promise, but from then on I did (and still do) struggle with the rest. Such a shame, as Acolyte gave Delphic a rare unique sound seldom heard but this has failed to prevail with the second offering. Oh, and while I'm about it the cover is bizarre and irrelevant in a sort of 'Poundland does Mount Rushmore with a bit of Andy Warhol thrown in for good measure' sort of way, and the ambiguous name 'Collections' hardly stirs the imagination - if it didn't have them on the cover you could quite conceivably think it was the greatest hits of Luther Vandross.

Not quite done with the odd analogies - its a bit like getting back with an old girlfriend and coming to the grim realisation that the heady nights of passion and longing gazes that drew you in in the first place have been replaced by Horlicks and TV Quick. Better luck next time lads...I do hope there is one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Back in 2010, Delphic exploded onto our speakers with a vibrant dance-electronic swagger to well-deserved great acclaim. Ice-cool and a delight to listen to. As debuts go, it was one of the finest introductions I'd heard. Needless to say, the bar was set high for the impressive new kids on the block - How would they follow up their explosive welcome?

Well, this one was certainly unexpected, I'll give them that...

Apparently Collections is a 'collection of songs to encourage people to think outside the box'... which, to me, is an artistic cop-out. It's a euphemism for "This is way out there and likely to suck, but if you don't like it, it's because you don't understand" - As is the way with most modern art (in a way, the album is a bit like the modern-art of the music world). But thought-provoking or not; to me, it boils down to one simple point: I don't enjoy listening to it. The album feels incredibly lacklustre and the stylish edge we had in Acolyte now replaced with a timid boy-band spongy outer coating.

Don't get me wrong, it has good songs and it has its moments - But it lacks the punch or a decent front-man of a song. Imagine Acolyte with the likes of 'Doubt', 'Counterpoint' and 'Halcyon' stripped out. It just seems to lack 'conviction', as if they don't quite know where to take the album. I've warmed up to most of the songs - but that's pretty much where it sits - lukewarm and nice enough as ambience. It's alright but it's not enthralling. Anything more would be clutching at straws and trying to mask the fact that such a promising band has failed to deliver

1. Of The Young - A decent opener. You can immediately feel the more timid tone though. That said, it's quite enjoyable, and whilst it doesn't quite make a splash, it's good enough
2. Baiya - This one is perhaps closest to the classic Delphic style, but is unpleasantly watered down by heavy pop overtones (especially the "you want it on the" hook)
3. Changes - Is it a ballad? Is it MC'ing in an urban club? Is it a Boyband? Why would you even think to throw these together? The chorus is, however, quite charming and goes some way to redeem it
4. Freedom Found - I actually like this one... It's quirky. The hook is unusual and the chorus catchy. It won't blow your mind, but it's quite memorable
5. Atlas - I can't decide on this one. It's interesting but the airy singing is grating in equal measure, especially when it gets stuck in your mind, which the chorus almost inevitably will
6. Tears Before Bedtime - Ok, what... piano and an answering machine of a crackly woman having "the talk". On its own, the piano and vocals would make for quite a striking, haunting song. But the stalker on the phone with overtones of "Did you get my message about my other messages"? No, that just creeped me out
7. The Sun Also Rises - This one's good! And after sitting through the last song, it'd have to be (you need something to wash away the sin). Probably one of the best on the album. It's feel-good, bold and just that little bit cheesey
8. Memeo - A little sharp, a little dark. Nice beat, nice effects - Not very striking, but not bad
9. Don't Let The Dreamers Take You Away - Ultimately it's the 'Remain' of the album, only with an annoying whiney chorus. Once you get past the start though, it's actually quite delightful. The music is charming and rounds off the album nicely. You'd kinda wish they decided to call it a day at this point...
10. Exotic - It's a creepy song... then they throw a rapper in it. Talk about rubbing salt into the wound

Quite frankly, I've never seen such a promising band miss the mark by such a margin (most at least seem to make a valiant attempt). I want to like it, but it sounds so uninspired and timid. It doesn't know what it wants to be, and it doesn't make an attempt to stand out. In fact if you hid the band name, I might not have even guessed it was them at all

Peace
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2013
It really pains me to write this because I absolutely loved Acolyte and did think Delphic were a very bright hope in a desolate UK music scene, and then they go and put out this, which is I'm sorry to say, if there are any hardcore fans still out there, rubbish.

Okay so that's all the negative feedback button pushers stirred up and I am prepared for the onslaught but it's because I was so taken by the stylishness and confidence of Acolyte that I feel driven to be so critical of this album. My first suspicions that I might be in for a disappointment was in fact the first glimpse at a truly appalling cover...why do bands after spending ages painstakingly creating their music, let it be set back by allowing such terrible artwork to front up their work? God, it happens so much but in this case, Delphic look set to getting this year's award for the worst cover in the market, and little else.

Unfortunately the music itself doesn't make up for it. It is bland, unfocused and at times confused. They experiment with a rapper which quite simply doesn't work and is actually at times embarrassingly awful, and the rest of it seems like a mash up of wanting to be The Hurts [but without the melody and emotion] and a harmonising boy band [without the tunes and personality].

I'm sorry it has to be said...this album is truly awful. I'm so sorry to say it too, because Acolyte was so brilliant. What happened? Get back on track again guys because we need you although you've got a lot of work to do after this, as I suspect your time may now have gone :(((
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2013
You made one of my favourite albums of the last few years. Great fun, depth, Orbital-gloopy-beats, forward-looking, New Order moments, etc.. Then, this... Delphic's second is probably the most disappointing follow-up I've ever heard (and, unfortunately purchased). Collections doesn't have one single redeeming moment. A crying, terrible, gut-wrenching shame.
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on 4 May 2013
Could not disagree more with the majority of other reviewers on this page and disappointed that so many people will be swayed by the negativity and dismiss Delphic's second album without even judging it for themselves.

`Collections' (admittedly a bad title) is not their best work, sadly it does not compare to `Acolyte', but it's a brilliant effort and there's a massive amount of satisfying content here that more than compensates for the odd experimental track that doesn't quite work (but which are, contrary to the views of some, by no means an embarrassment).

But the beauty of having the option to preview the songs here means those who are unsure don't have to take my or any other reviewer's word for the quality or otherwise of the album. Give `Of the Young', `Baiya', or `The Sun Also Rises' a listen- even these short samples sound so good, because they are. `Freedom Found' and `Atlas' and it this very moment for me `Don't Let the Dreamers Take You Away' sound pretty cool too.

Maybe this album simply requires more effort (and I don't mean that as a criticism of those who marked this album down) because while there's quite a bit of unusual mashed-up material here that is in contrast to the elegant detachment and perfectly engineered euphoria of `Acolyte', this is not a bad record and I'm really enjoying the discovery process.

Even if you read one of the prominent customer reviews on this page that very succinctly and quite accurately describes each track, the guy clearly liked at least fifty percent of the material, maybe seventy five percent depending on how you judge the comments and yet the overall score was forty percent. Maybe, just maybe this was due to initial disappointment with a follow-up release that is in sharp contrast to the debut work.

The BBC reviewer was unfortunately of a similar opinion as many of the other reviewers here, but the prominence of that addition on the product page and the pedigree of its origin is sure to put off would-be buyers, unfairly in my view and this represents yet another obstacle for those people like myself who are able to find a great deal of value in `Collections'. In truth it's a four star album, but I have to award full marks in the hope of striking a better balance in the mean score.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2013
This album has to be downloaded for laugh- its that bad. Imagine 3 guys, who work normal day jobs, being asked to take the week off and come up with an album by the end of the week with no prior background in music. This albums sounds like the end product of such an experiment. The debut album was really good - Im mystified how it can go so wrong so quickly. Come on chaps - not sure what has gone wrong but get back to doing what you did when you started in the music industry and recover from this!
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on 31 March 2013
Like most people who bought this album, I have listened to Acolyte so many times over the last few years, was lucky enough to see them live in Bristol last year and was seriously looking forward to this being released.

Pre-ordered and turned up the day after release, the couple of reviews I had read worried me and after the first listen I could hear why. It is so different to almost be a different band, which to be fair is what they have said they were trying to do, that my expectations meant I was disappointed at first.

But Acolyte blew me away, so this album needed to be listened to over an extended period to try and work out whether it was any good. After two months of on and off listening I think it is pretty damn good actually, several of the tracks are excellent, opener Of the young followed by Baiya are cracking and the Sun also rises could turn out to be a classic, I certainly turn it up loud when it comes on.

In conclusion it isn't Acolyte, an album I continue to push on friends at every opportunity, but on its own merit is worth listening to and letting the tracks get under your skin. Last point I think there could be a cracking remix album hiding in their as well.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2013
I was a little underwhelmed when I first listened to this album but after quite a few (approx. 15) listens this is really coming into its own. Memeo and Freedom Found are my favourite two, absolutely outstanding songs.

I think people need to stop comparing the two albums as that is clouding their judgement I think.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2013
Isn't it in the nature of truly great artists to break new ground? I believe Delphic are truly great artists - this from someone who would never have heard of them had it not been for their appearance on 'Later, with Jools...'(but that's another story I won't bore you with). 'Collections' is a fabulous album. It would have been 'safe' for them to release 'Acolyte mk 2' as another reviewer has suggested. I'm so glad they didn't do this and released what is fast becoming my most played this year (and we're only in February!!). I cannot get enough of this album. My only gripe is the rapping, but that is because I'm not a big fan of modern rap (give me Grand Master Flash any day!). As with any music it is up to the listener to decide whether he or she likes an album or not. I happen to think this album is a major achievement in the progression of Delphic's music. I eagerly await their next.
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