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