(Nettwerk, 1997)

A friend of mine loaned me this CD. I don't think she meant for me to keep it this long. In fact, I suspect she's forgotten I have it.

I'm not sure I should tell her.

Karma by Delerium is an unusual mix of worldbeat, new age, techno-folk and just good music. Consider putting Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance and Tori Amos into a studio with Enigma, Andreas Vollenweider and Jean-Michel Jarre, and you might get something like this. This is the kind of album you put on repeat mode for hours at a time and never grow tired of hearing. It cries out for sensual dancing, it screams for mood lighting. It's lush. It's electric. It's primal.

Delerium is, at its core, Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber, who wrote and performed the music. Joining them are lyricists/singers Kristy Thirsk, Camille Henderson, Sarah McLachlan and Jacqui Hunt, all of whom add potent vocals to the mix. There are several Latin and various native chants and other samples used in the blend, including a few from Dead Can Dance and the Baka Forest Pygmies.

This album defies categorization. But, ultimately, labels don't matter. Buy this one and enjoy the 11 tracks it provides purely for the sensual sound experience it creates. Buy another for a friend -- because when you loan it out, you might not see it again.

[ by Tom Knapp ]

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