Thursday, December 24, 2020

Album Review: Delta Spirit - What Is There

Delta Spirit
What Is There
*and1/2 out of *****

2020 was a horrible year for the world but a small bright spot was the announcement of a reunion album from the indie rock band Delta Spirit. The group had released some feel good music in the mid to late 00's before dissolving and What Is There would be their return effort offering hope. 

Unfortunately the comeback album is shockingly overproduced and never coalesces at all, sounding like a sampling of pop rock styles trying to eek out a hit around cliches, pomp and circumstance without much substance.

While the basis of decent songs may be lurking under the surface, the band self produced the album and decided to over do it to death on every number. A track like "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" starts as a bleak remorseful (if cliche) ballad before incredibly over the top instrumentation blows away any sense of sincerity. "Home" as well starts basic with hand claps and happiness of familial life before again drowning the sound in saccharine over done music while "Just the Same" is a meditative tune on love but it drags on and adds more strings to the mix, yet again over baking the final product, a disappointing theme on the record. 

The band is in full pop mode throughout, the 80's new wave rock of  opener "The Pressure"  and the Peter Gabriel inspired "Lover's Heart" are two of the better tracks here but neither rank very high in the bands overall catalog. The sappy "How Bout It" with overly dramatic ooh's and ahh's is redeemed somewhat by an excellent sounding closing guitar solo while "Better Now" is passable straight ahead groovy pop. The closing title track is the most successful overall because it is also the most natural with Matthew Logan Vasquez just singing straight ahead with an acoustic guitar backing.  

A track like "It Ain't Easy" sums up the album with banal lyrics being offered after an organic piano jangling intro dissolves to a dance beat that facilitates a full on pop dance rave up; three songs in one and none seem to be successful in what they are doing. 

By self producing What Is There, Delta Spirit indulged in too many detracting aspects and unfortunately ended up with a dud of a reunion album. Perhaps an outside ear would have trimmed these songs successfully, whatever the case may be, hopefully the band will shift gears when they are ready for the follow up.       
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Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

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