Well, maybe we should blame Sarah McLachlan, but Delerium really sells out on this latest CD of theirs. Whereas previously Delerium make very listenable ambient music, on Chimera they come out with eleven pop tracks masquerading as ambient anthems. It is okay still if we are talking about good pop music, but most of the tracks here sound like simplistic rejects from Mike Oldfield’s late night keyboard piddling under the influence of ennui.
Apart from the halfway decent Truly, everything else sounds like Eurotrash rejects playing over some waif’s vocals singing some of the most inane little girl’s journal lyrics I have ever come across. Leigh Nash, Julee Cruise (remember her?), Margaret Far, and other little ingenues perform on the tracks here, but with their often helium-thin chihuahua yipping passed off as singing, I miss Sarah McLachlan’s glorious vocal performance on Silence, I really do. With lyrics either being utterly insipid like “I can’t help the helper when my feet are bound, I can’t feel you near me if you’re not the only sound” (Run for It) or mawkishly vapid like “You are my angel and I can’t believe that you were sent from above, showing me guidance with unconditional love, and I know that it is true” (the truly tragic Touched), this probably isn’t Delerium selling out as much as running on an empty gas tank, methinks.
Sure, Karma marked a new phase for Delerium’s musical arc, but if this bad Mike Oldfield reject collection that is Chimera is what change is going to be for Delerium, maybe change isn’t such a good thing after all. This CD is the grotesque offspring of the mating of bad poetry and Eurotrash melodies.