"Fauxliage" (Album, 2007)
Christ! I thought Delerium releases have been getting ever more commercial and correspondingly less impressive as a result. Well, clearly I hadn't seen anything yet. Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber's latest incarnation, Fauxliage, takes the commercial potential to a whole new level altogether. At first, frankly, it comes as a something of a shock. However, once over the initial trauma, balanced objectivity kicks in, and what could have hastily been written off as simply insipid does reward open-mindedness and patience. At least, up to a point.
First big clue as to what to expect is the presence of Sixpence None the Richer singer Leigh Nash. Nashville-born Nash contributed vocal duties to Delerium, mostly memorably singing on Innocence (Falling in Love) from the album Poem. Nash also provided vocals on two tracks on Delerium's 2005 album Chimera. However, the difference here is this is no mere jobbing guest vocalist slot, as Nash is very much a part of the Fauxliage project. It's a three-way collaboration where the song writing credits are earned by all involved (including in some cases with several 'special guests').
The results then sound less like Leeb and Fulber than, I guess, Fauxliage. I imagine that would be just fine by our two Canadian gents and is kind of the point of the exercise. They seem to be in this very much for the collective nature of the project and the opportunity to stretch their talents as far as they have ever been. Mainstream radio show programmers may take to the dream pop style as readily as the wider fans base of Leeb or Fulber, maybe more so. For whilst Delerium at its best demonstrated an uncanny ability to blend the underground with the mainstream, and achieve a modicum of success in the latter sphere, Fauxliage has no desire to court the favours of the black-clad masses that have supported Leeb and Fulber to date. That's not meant as any criticism, Fauxliage is not Delerium. It's a different proposition and as such should be judged on different criteria. The audience that will get the most out of this debut album then are unlikely to think Front Line Assembly's Tactical Neural Implant is a landmark achievement in industrial music or would be willing to give pre-Karma Delerium the time of day. That's why for this reviewer, and I expect most people that read this website, despite the pedigree, this struggles to raise much more than passing interest. 6/10
Rob Dyer (July, 2007)