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  NIGHTSPOTS

BPM... dancebeat
by Gregg Shapiro
2003-11-26

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Ambient dream-poppers Delerium had been around for almost ten years before they achieved substantial recognition with the song 'Silence,' featuring vocals by Sarah McLachlan. Over the years, a cornucopia of female vocalists has supplied the siren sound to Delerium's tantric tunes, and their latest offering, Chimera (Nettwerk America), is no exception.

Ten different women provide the purr on the eleven ethereal numbers and the variety spices up the delirious dance beats and down tempo chillout cuts. Jael (of Lunik) belts it out on 'After All,' a song about a woman listening to the voices in her head, telling her to leave her lover. Both Margaret Far and the 'ocean roaring' are responsible for hypnotizing the listener on 'Just A Dream,' and light and joy pour out of Nerina Pallot's mouth on 'Truly.' Julee Cruise casts a spell on 'Magic' and Kristy Thirsk's emotive vocals on closing track 'Returning,' has the potential to inspire listeners to return to this disc for repeated plays.

For a trio (lead vocalist Skye Edwards, and musician brothers Paul and Ross Godfrey), Morcheeba strikes a balance between soothing, yet static, trip hop beats and slamming, yet slinky, dance tracks. Parts Of The Process (Sire/Reprise), a substantial eighteen-track compilation is an overview that even hardcore fans can appreciate. Although not organized chronologically (a pet peeve of mine), there is some logic here, as the disc opens with the calming waves of 'The Sea' and then flips the listener over for some dance-floor action on 'Tape Loop.'

With a voice like a narcotic, Skye Edwards adapts to the mood and groove of each tune, whether it's the sinister 'Otherwise,' which sounds like a love theme from a sixties spy movie, or the snap and pop boogaloo of 'Be Yourself.' 'Let Me See,' which asks the age old question, 'Who can you trust when you need to?' offers up a rhythmic answer, and 'Trigger Hippie' reminds us of what it was that attracted us to Morcheeba in the first place. The mini-epic 'What New York Couples Fight About,' featuring Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, is a musical drama, and new track 'Can't Stand It,' doesn't disappoint for an instant.

Limited editions of Parts Of The Process include a bonus DVD of a live Morcheeba performance.


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