The Delays

Faded Seaside Glamour

http://www.divshare.com/download/4710547-d03

I cannot begin to count the ways I hated this album at first listen. An esteemed colleague pulled me aside during a happy hour or a drunken visit to the nearby record store a few blocks from the selfsame happy hour. It doesn’t really matter other than to suggest that I was resistant to his statement that “You need to hear this Delays album, it sounds like Stevie Nicks except it’s a dude singing.” Bryan, I apologize if I muddled the mixture as usual. However, I distinctly remember my defiance to the idea of a fellow putting on the guise of the ultimate gypsy, Stevie Nicks.

I have been indoctrinated to the gypsy supremacy of Stevie Nicks by more than a few ex-girlfirends. However, those same ex-girlfriends also attempted to convince me that Annie Lennox’s solo albums were masterpieces. (Editors note: I only believe them to be enjoyable albums in the company of a lovely woman.) When they brought up Sarah McLachlan as a feminine icon, I felt dirty, but said no. Tori Amos was a coin-toss, but I picked heads and I find the coin landing on tails much too often. I am getting carried away with myself, let’s get to The Delays, whom I love in a conditional way.

Lead singer Greg Gilbert has perfected the throaty magic of Ms. Nicks and wields it effectively and does sound like a fellow who can imitate Stevie Nicks after a whiskey and a few cigs. There is no mockery in this statement. I love this about his vocal acrobatics. I don’t even wince when the slow numbers happen and I think I am listening to The Wild Heart on my headphones.

Honestly, Isome of this is sheer mimicry while other moments really knock my socks off. The opener, “Wanderlust” opens with some well-placed steel drum as Gilbert swoons over every note of lyrics like “Can You hear that knocking in your soul/No, you don’t listen.” It is the theatrical qualities of his voice that make such lines work, just like a chorus of “Stand Back, Stand Back” worked. My parallels are drawn too closely since this band also delves into folk and Brit-pop. The other albums blow. This one offers an intriguing glimpse of what might have been.