I have soft spot for Delirious and it stems from hearing and seeing the band before it took the CCM industry by storm. In the early ’90s, the buzz was beginning to build about The Cutting Edge Band, which sang heart-felt, contemporary-sounding worship songs. Once the faith-based music industry figured out what was going on, the rest is history. They single handily, in my opinion, revolutionized worship music as we know it.Of course, the Cutting Edge Band’s (later to be renamed Delirious) rise to fame as contemporary worship wonderboys was a straitjacket they wore on their first major label release, King of Fools. And while the album was solid, it was confined in a comfortable mold. Delirious attempted to spread their wings on the follow-up hey-everybody-is-watching-us-now release – and the results were unexpected. For starters, nobody was going to be picking tracks off the record to sing at Sunday service. (Well, for the most part.) That alone could have killed the band’s momentum. But somehow music buyers realized they could have the best of both worlds with Delirious: a band that could sing wonderful choruses that translated well for congregational singing (even if Martin Smith’s vocal range left others in the dust), and a band that could quite frankly rock out.
And that is what Mezzamorphis did. It rocked incredibly hard, and, borrowing heavily from Radiohead, coloured outside the lines of previous efforts. “Mezzanine Floor”, “Heaven” and “Follow” really set the tone for the record, while Delirious completely let its hair down on “Bliss” – with stunning results. It was like they could do no wrong on Mezzamorphis. Even the mid-tempo songs, “Love Falls Down” and “See the Star”, were great. And once again, the band served up some passionate worship songs (“Blindfold” and “Kiss Your Feet”), while “Jesus’ Blood” continued to underline the band’s explicit Christian undertones.
What could have been a career killer really proved Delirious had higher aspirations than mere creating church songs. It was a bold move. The band’s next record, Glo, kind of seemed to combine the best elements of Mezzamorphis and their four sides of Cutting Edge material, which was arguably some of the best contemporary worship music ever recorded. But with Glo, the [worship] revolution had already happened, and the results were less spectacular. By then, time had caught up with Delirious and although they continued to churn out respectable releases throughout the 2000’s, the band’s glory days were cemented in the past. For that, Mezzamorphis is the perfect bridge between the hot-young, contemporary-sounding worship band everybody loved, and the band that matured musically and didn’t want to be pigeon-holed.
And good on them.
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