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Now Is The Time for delirious?

Those who know me of course know that delirious? is my favorite band of all time. And, most of them know that I haven't been as impressed with delirious? for a couple years. Here's the story.

Well, back in the day, Martin Smith and the boys were trying to break into the pop charts. The title of their album Audio Lessonover? is even an anagram of "Radio One Loves Us?" or something like that. It was probably their most prolific work to date, creating artsy, creative rock that blew the mind. Of course, the chart-topping singles never really happened.

Therefore their last couple releases have been more mainstream worship releases. The lyrics were worshipful and the music was very engaging, but I still felt something was lacking. Steve Stockman said it best in his interview: "Where I struggle is the lyrics. I find a lot of repetition in lyrics. Lines that reappear in everybody’s stuff." Sure, "On Christ the Solid Rock I stand," is a timeless line, but what about that stuff that we'd never heard before and drew us to delirious? in the first place? Lines such as "Did you feel the mountains tremble? / Did you hear the oceanss roar? / When the people rose to sing of / Jesus Christ the risen one" and "What can I do with my obsession? / With the things I cannot see" and "I wanna go deeper / But I don't know how to swim."

It seems that they decided to forgo the pop/rock band and return to the worship band. And although I started listening to them as a worship band, I mostly love the pop/rock band. And, frankly, the rock has been waning the last couple years for delirious? as they get older.

Speaking of which, getting older and having more kids seems to also mean not touring the world as much. For example, delirious? was here in Minnesota in 1999 and twice in 2002, but since then they have not played a show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. (Note: I don't count gigs that are a part of an Acquire the Fire conference.) So over the past couple years I've been saying that one reason I haven't been listening to delirious? is because they haven't been playing my town at all lately. And that still holds.

But the recent release of Now Is The Time: Live From Willow Creek, Chicago, U.S.A. on CD & DVD is a great help in bringing back my love for delirious?. Many of the new songs as well as a couple old songs are here played live for the CD and the beautiful live DVD. The best part is definitely the first-ever high-quality live DVD of a delirious? performance, and it is worth every penny. The state-of-the-art arena that is Willow Creek Church captures the concert in beautiful video and great surround sound. And a great show it is. The video and the emotional performances of songs such as "Now Is The Time", "Our God Reigns," and "Miracle Maker" bring new life to the songs on the CD, as every live show should. The professional camera crew doesn't miss a beat either.

There are some great special features, the best of which is a short look at the history of delirious?, mostly told by the guys in d: themselves. Another fun thing for video buffs is the control room view with audio of one of the songs, where you can see all the cameras and how they cut the video live. It looks great.

Of course you get a CD with the DVD which has most of the music without the video. Some of the best tracks, of course, such as "History Maker" and the closer, "Investigate," are not included on the CD, but luckily I have a DVD-audio ripping program that will allow me to put it on my iPod nonetheless. iTunes users will find the "History Maker" track included with the album on the iTunes Music Store, and possibly other tracks could be available elsewhere.

So is delirious? making a comeback in my mind? Yes, definitely, although they never completely left. Here's to hoping they have many great more years ahead of them. I can't wait to see what comes of "taking it wherever it goes."