Album Review – Delerium “Voice: An Acoustic Collection” 2010
The prolific Messrs Leeb and Fulber have given me much joy over the years, so it is with sorrow that I must condemn this shameful cash-grab. Presented as “acoustic” versions of electronic music tracks, these selections are designed to take full advantage of Delerium’s latter-day relationship with a number of female session vocalists and pop stars.
It’s an intriguing prospect, but it all falls a bit flat. The FLA family contains some of the world’s most skilled producers of lush soundscapes and multi-layered tracks, but they are not earth shattering songwriters. Stripping these songs of all that technical wizardry reveals most of them to be little more than passable cafe worldbeat jazz. Listeners may also feel a bit cheated in that the vocal tracks have largely been lifted directly from the source albums without re-recording them. It’s nice to hear worldwide mega-hit “Silence” unplugged but a bit of a bummer to have Sarah Mclachlan’s decade-old performance pasted onto it. Old chestnut “Flowers Become Screens” is the exception to this trend, with Kristy Thirsk providing an angle fresh enough to make us forget the lack of subterranean bass.
Three new full-strength electronic tracks are also included, more or less in the same lighter style as 2006’s Nuages du Monde, and therefore less than memorable. If any Delerium completists have room left on their shelves after the flurry of remixes, compilations and re-issues the band put out over the past few years, that may be the only chance Voice has to find a home. 4 out of 10