Album Review: Delirious?, “World Service” (2003)

One day upon perusing the discount album bin at my local library, I came across Delirious?‘ album, World Service. I’d only heard a bit about the band prior to that- a few of my friends liked them, and I’d heard a few songs on the radio. But at the price of a dollar, I figured I might as well buy it- if the CD was great, I only bought it for a dollar. And if it sucked, I only bought it for a dollar. I had pretty much nothing to lose.

My first listen turned out to be a bore. Only a few songs stuck out, but after several more listens, this has become one of my favourite Christian music CDs. Delirious? does a GREAT job at combining soft rock with wonderful lyrics that explore having faith in God. I’m happy to say that my dollar was well spent.

Grace Like A River opens the album with some heavy guitar, but eventually mellows out to a mid-tempo sound. We are automatically greeted with the lead singer, Martin Smith‘s voice, which is quite similar to U2s, Bono. Delirious’ overall sound is like a mixture of U2 and Coldplay, in fact.  Anyway, this song is about God’s grace, and though it’s nice, it’s not quite memorable enough to be a favourite.

Rain Down is bit similar to the song before it, though this time around, Smith is asking for God’s mercy and grace to “rain down”. I like this song a bit better than Grace but it’s still not one of my favourite songs, until it reaches guitar-heavy bridge and chant, “Do not shut/Do not shut/Do not shut the heavens/But open up/Open up/Open up our hearts”.

Delirious?’s drummer, Stew Smith, shows off on hard-rockin’ number, God In Heaven, while the album slows down for worship song, Majesty  (Here I Am), a song I really like. First, there’s the soft melody, which wraps you up as soon as it starts. Smith sounds great as he sings the words, which are also very touching. This song is about realizing what God has done for us and being in awe by it (“Now I’ve found/The greatest love of all is mine/Since You laid down your life/The greatest sacrifice”…”Here I am/Humbled by the love that You give/Forgiven so that I can forgive”). There is also a violin added into the mix, which sounds beautiful. This song was one of the singles off the album, and it got a lot of radio play, but I can still love this song and appreciate it for what it is.

Two of my favourites appear next with Inside Outside and Free.  The first of two has an upbeat and bouncy melody, which is nice, especially after such a subdued song as Here I Am. This song is very fun lyrically (“Inside outside, pulling me in/No matter where I run I know You’ll never give in”, etc), as it’s about having God involved in every aspect of your life, and being completely in love with Him. Smith sounds really good in this song as well, and again, his vocals remind me of Bono, but that’s definitely not a bad thing.  Free starts off with some nice riffs and sounds like something by Switchfoot, though I can’t place which particular song. Anyway, this is such a light, fun, song which I guess they were aiming for since the song is about how Jesus allows us to feel alive and free when we walk with Him. This is a really fun song, and I don’t know if it was a single or not- but it would’ve been a good candidate.

With You is a slow ballad about being with Jesus, which sounds like something off of a Coldplay album, while Everyone Knows is another mid-tempo pleasure with simplistic guitar and subdued vocals from Smith and Garrad.  However, Mountains High is the stand-out ballad on the album.  It starts off with light piano, and then Smith slowly comes in singing “Sorrow came to visit us today/Was the longest day, was the loneliest day/Sorrow came to steal our hope away/Only tears can tell of this holy hour”. The song slowly builds up at it goes along. The piano becomes louder, and so does Smith’s vocals. By the second repetition of the chorus, the cello is added in and so are drums as he sings “This mountain’s high/Too high for us” several times. This leads into more drums, guitars, and you can hear a DJ scratching in the background now, as well. The song becomes more powerful as Smith acquiesces, “Your ways are too high/Too high for us”, and the song builds up in intensity, and then fades out again in the last seconds, and ends on the cello. I love this song so much. I remember listening to it a lot after the Tsunami disaster (I didn’t plan it that way; I just bought the CD around that same time), and if you look at the lyrics and listen to the song, it really goes along with those tragic events.

The album comes to a close with a couple of great songs.  I Was Blind is probably my FAVORITE song on the entire album. Again, soft piano and Martin Smith’s vocals make this humbling track about realizing how much of an impact God has made on his life (“I was blind/But now I see/I was broken/But you carried me/I was lost/But now I’m found/I was guilty/But you turned me around”). I love the bridge, which is simply Smith singing “Let it shine on us” several times, and then it leads into heavy piano as he continues to repeat this several times. A great worship track!  Every Little Thing is the last track, and advertises pop singer, Daniel Bedingfield, as a guest vocalist, but I can’t tell his voice from Smith’s. Anyway, I really like this song. It’s not terribly original, either, but it’s a nice end to the album with a positive message (the entire chorus is “Every little thing’s gonna be alright”), and a nice end to the album.

All in all, World Service is a nice offering from Delirious?. It’s a good collection of upbeat tracks and worship songs, and an overall highly enjoyable album.
Rating: 3_stars.svg

Track List
1. Grace Like A River
2. Rain Down
3. God In Heaven
4. Majesty (Here I Am)
5. Inside Outside
6. Free
7. Everyone Knows
8. With You
9. Mountains High
10. I Was Blind
11. Feel It Coming On
12. Every Little Thing

*This is a “classic” review. I have edited this review for content and formatting, though retained my original opinion of the product.

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