Delays – Star Tiger, Star Ariel
From the start of the album opener Find A Home (New Forest Shaker) I wasn’t sure where the Delays were going with this album. With the slower tempo, lush keys and heavy reverb, to Greg Gilbert’s distinctive falsetto, it seemed that Star Tiger, Star Ariel might be more of an ambient turn for the band. That is not the case as The Lost Estate quickly launches the listener into the album with the chorus of “Why don’t you ask me to stay?! I want nobody but you,” which has a massive 80′s sound (think Def Leppard mixed with Siouxsie and the Banshees). Rhapsody again uses Gilbert’s falsetto (almost too much) in trying to get an almost ethereal feel to the song. May 45 has an almost Kitchens Of Distinction feel to it and is pure pop, while tracks like Hold Fire and Moment Gone sound like a cross between James Blunt,The Darkness and The New Radicals.
The standout track on the album is In Brilliant Sunshine which is the most “rockin’” song on the album. Another thing the song has gong for it is that, for the most part, it is lacking the over-used falsetto that is oh so present on the rest of the album. That is a good thing. It’s the only song on the album that really sound like something fresh and new.
The Delays are a talented bunch but after listening to the album several times they don’t really seem to have a sound of their own. They just spend too much time bouncing around from song to song emulating bands from their youth. Star Tiger, Star Ariel is an interesting listen with a few solid tracks but it’s been done before, and done better.