UK band Delirious recently released their latest album, Kingdom of Comfort. This album is a bit of a departure musically from previous releases, with the band not afraid to experiment and try new things. And while it works, fans looking for a “classic” Delirious album will be slightly disappointed.
There is a general theme that comes through on many of the songs in this album that we need to go beyond the ‘bubble’ of Christianity, and take the love of God out to a broken hurting world. Some of the songs make for challenging listening when you reflect on what the lyrics are about – in particular Kingdom of Comfort, Love will find a way, and bonus download track Mothers of the night (yes it is about prostitutes) stand out for me as uncomfortable listening.
Title track Kingdom of Comfort challenges our culture that happily buys more and more needless items, without thinking about the true cost, both to the workers making it in sweatshops, and the poor who could use our money much better. In particular the cry to God in the last line that we would be saved from “the kingdom of comfort where we are king, to the kingdom of heaven where you are King” would be well worth praying more.
Delirious aren’t afraid to experiment with effects and this is particularly evident on the songs How Sweet the Name and also My Soul Sings as they add in various guitar effects, as well as crowd singing on the extended chorus at the end. They should be commended for taking some risks and not playing it safe after the success of previous albums, particularly with the messages in their songs (a lot more like Our God Reigns/Now is the Time than previous songs like The Happy Song, I could sing of your love forever and Majesty). Also, unlike previous Delirious albums there are no tracks that stand out as being worship tracks, it is all performance (a few of the choruses, such as the chorus on My Soul Sings, could be adapted for use in worship without the verses a la Our God Reigns).
This album is not afraid to confront big issues, from the struggles of living with a family member’s cancer on Stare the Monster Down, a song that is packed with emotion to prostitution on download track Mothers of the Night to the struggle to make sense of the difference between “the poverty and the five star dream” the band experienced on tour (on Love will find a way). This, coupled with the unashamed praise of Jesus on many of the tracks, particularly Eagle Rider, We Give You Praise and My Soul Sings means this isn’t an album with much mainstream appeal – unlike earlier releases there isn’t much chance of this getting Delirious on Radio One in today’s secular culture. However there is a great depth to the lyrics, and while they won’t hold much appeal to non-Christians, for Christians they provide much food for thought as you take the time to reflect on them.
Musically, although slightly different to previous releases this is still a top quality album, it just feels to be missing a ‘classic Delirious’ track along the lines of History Maker or Now is the Time. And for some reason you have to download the final two tracks of the album yourself, as they aren’t included on the CD. But these are the only flaws with the album – except the blister packaging it comes in, but that is an aesthetic issue that shouldn’t distract from the album itself (just don’t expect it to fit in your regular CD rack).
Overall, I would definitely recommend you get yourself a copy of this album if you are a fan of Delirious, or bands like Third Day, U2, Coldplay or Casting Crowns. And make sure you have a good read of the book that comes with the CD – they have taken the decision to get authors such as Shane Claiborne and Brian McLaren to write short devotions for it, which is definitely something more Christian artists should do.
If you have read many of the articles on this site you will notice that lyrics from previous Delirious songs have been quoted many times, and there is definitely plenty more scope here for article ideas, so watch out for that in the near future….
Kingdom of Comfort scores 9.1 / 10 on All4God
Buy it here (PuraShop) £9.95