October 12, 2006

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Delerium, Nuages du Monde
Nettwerk Records, 2006

Skinny Puppy co-founder Bill Leeb will tell you Delerium is the project that pays the Front Line Assembly bills, but there’s a deeper, subconscious need he placates through this international club-hit machine. As evidenced by earlier Delerium works, which featured such A-list sirens as Sarah McLachlan and Leigh Nash, Leeb is fascinated with every nook and nuance of the female creature. NdM is a baptism of sorts; a figurative bathing of his reverence that will be interpreted by some as more New Age-y than previous albums, some but not all of that owing to the breathtaking presence of Isabel Bayrakdarian, who contributed her angelic soprano to the second Lord of the Rings film. Along with regulars Zoe Johnston (Faithless) and Kirsty Thirsk, Punjabi singer Kiran Ahluwalla indulges Leeb’s grandiose techno benedictions, lending them sweeping visions of storms, deserts, desolation and holiness. No “Heaven’s Earth”-like trance anthem to be found here, but that might have been square-peggish among all the bipolar emotions at work — Leeb recently suffered a divorce and it shows. Once again Leeb has supplied the planet with some of its sexiest music, but now more than ever it’s not that kind of kiss. A

— Eric W. Saeger