Delphic - Collections

The Manchester trio’s return is undeniably impressive, but also resembles Duran Duran at their most bombastic.

Label: Polydor

Rating: 6

Delphic’s debut album was a fine collection of New Order-influenced electro-pop, but their second long-player sees the Manchester three-piece claiming inspiration from further afield, notably American R&B and hip hop heavyweights such as Jay-Z and Frank Ocean. The result is an altogether more slinky record but, at times it veers surprisingly close to pure pop territory. Lead single ‘Baiya’ is a case in point, sounding more Britney than ‘Blue Monday’. 

The centrepiece of the album is the six-minute state of the nation address ‘Atlas’. It’s got choirs, soft rock guitar solos and around about the four-minute mark you can just about make out the sound of the kitchen sink being thrown into the mix. It’s undeniably impressive, but it also resembles Duran Duran at their most bombastic. It’s in stark contrast to the beautifully understated ‘Tears Before Bedtime’ which is comprised mainly of a recurring piano motif and a series of answerphone messages from an unknown female voice. 

Things reach a nadir with the penultimate track ‘Don’t Let The Dreamers Take You Away’, which begins as the kind of saccharine ballad that East 17 would release at Christmas in the nineties, and then sees the band embark on an ill-advised flirtation with drum’n’bass. 

Delphic made it clear that they did not simply want to release ‘Acolyte Part 2’, and for this they should be applauded. Indeed, it’s entirely possible that ‘Collections’ will earn them an entirely new audience. However, having been dogged with comparisons to Friendly Fires since their formation, it is ironic that this record perhaps sounds like the kind of misstep that the St. Albans band made themselves with their second album ‘Pala’.  Less pop, more style, perhaps?