Delirious? doesn't need much of an introduction considering they've made a successful transition from being a hot item in the United Kingdom to being a largely popular act in the states. In 2001, the quintet released the diverse and experimental project Audio Lessonover? exclusively to their UK audience. In 2002, the group had plans to release a counterpart to the record on Christian label giants Sparrow Records. However, with the release of their own label, Furious? Records USA, the band found no further need for Sparrow and Touch finds home in the U.S. in the Fall of 2002.
Touch serves mostly as a Lessonover make-over with 4 original tracks axed and one redux and refreshening of a favorite. The album opens with the title cut, a track originally found in the US on the 2000 compilation Roaring Lambs from Squint Entertainment. "Touch," however first appeared on a single in the UK before making its way to the states. The rest of the disc offers portions of Lessonover, beginning with a completely new rendition of "Love Is the Compass," a song for the prodigal. "Fire," virtually untouched (no pun intended) from its original state, makes a successful transfer to Touch and easily serves as the strongest highlight on the project as the fuzzy, driving guitars permeate this rock anthem powerhouse. "Alien" is another highlight, featuring its crunchy buzzing guitars and pounding drums set to a haunting musical backdrop. "Angel In Disguise" is a piano-driven ballad, while the fun and funky "Rollercoaster" is thankfully untouched. Rock track "Show Me Heaven" remains the same while the odd pop anthem, "Take Me Away" doesn't get the tweaking it could use. "Waiting for the Summer" benefits greatly from the changes given it. A lot of the irritating background vocals were dropped, firming up this pop/rock tune and making the end product a lot more solid and fit better amongst the other tracks on the disc. "Stealing Time" is a unique gem. The song is a slow dreary rock ballad that opens with eerie sounds you'd expect to hear on Halloween night and not a Delirious track. The intriguing track fits nicely as a closer for the album (the bizarre hidden track at the end of Lessonover isn't missed here). Tracks that didn't make the transition from Audio Lessonover to Touch included the excellent "Bicycle Gasoline" (my most regretful of the 4 tracks sliced), the anthemic "America," and the ballads "There Is An Angel," and "A Little Love."
Touch is a good project as a whole and a good example of where Delirious? is taking their style next. What I can't get past is the feeling that most of these tracks are already over a year old and were originally created for a previous project. While maybe the band (and label) probably found Touch a more appropriate release for the States than Lessonover, it's just sad that fans won't get the full musical experience that the group had originally intended. Regardless, Touch is still a pretty solid effort, but it's recommended that the most dedicated of Delirious? fans seek out a copy of Audio Lessonover? following after they've secured their copy of Touch.- Review date: 11/7/02, written by John DiBiase
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