Delirious? began as The Cutting Edge Band in Littlehampton, West Sussex in England in the early 1990’s. They released their first studio album KING OF FOOLS under their new name in 1997. It reached #13 on the UK Album chart. Group members were: Martin Smith (vocals, guitars), Stewart Smith (drums, percussion, background vocals), Jon Thatcher (bass, background vocals), Tim Jupp (keys, Hammond organ, background vocals), and Stuart Garrard (guitars, background vocals). Here I will be reviewing the 1998 US re-release of the album (Furious?/Sparrow).
‘Sanctify’ is a rock ballad that makes use of strings and cries out to God: “Sanctify, I want to be set apart/Right to the very heart/Prophesy to the four winds and breathe life to this very place/How long will it take?/How long will I have to wait?/Cause all I want is all You have/Come to me, rescue me/Fall on me with Your love”. ‘Deeper’ is one of seven co-writes by Martin Smith and Stuart Garrard. It was the album’s second single and peaked at #22 on the UK Singles chart. It’s about pursuing a deeper relationship with God: “I want to go deeper but I don’t know how to swim/I want to fly higher but these arms won’t take me there.../Hold me in Your arms just like any father would.../And the wonder of it all/Is that I’m living just to fall more in love with You”. It’s quite a catchy pop song! ‘Revival Town’ is a great rock anthem that makes use of The Tehilla! Choir and includes these exciting words: “Well, I’ve got a story to tell/About the King above all kings/He spoke for peace, hope, love, and justice/Things that we all need today/You let a broken generation become a dancing generation/This is revival generation.../Hallelujah, You’ve turned our sorrow into laughter!”
‘All the Way’ is a beautiful adult contemporary ballad of personal testimony: “With You I’m washed as white as the snow/And all crimson stain becomes just a shadow/You know I would be blind without You/So light up my way to find my way home again/Today (3X)/We’re going all the way/Tears sometimes fall upon my face/And join the oil of gladness/How can it be I’ve found this love/A love that let me fly”. In August 1995 Martin Smith, his wife, and Jon Thatcher were in a major car accident. ‘August 30th’ was inspired by it: “Thank You for the chance to live again/I will run only for You/Clouds had gathered all around my head but these hands they lifted me/And I’ll tell of this love that saved me”. Jussy McLean sings background vocals.
‘Promise’ is one of six songs solely written by Martin Smith. This heavy rock song is full of questions: “Do I wipe the tear or do I spit in your face?/Do I point the finger or give the hand of grace?/Oh, why does it come to this?” ‘King or Cripple’ focuses on Christ: “I love to hold the hand of one who healed the blind/And saw the leper run into the arms of love/And king or cripple, they were the same to You/You took a broken man and You treat him like a king/Keep me, won’t You keep me?” This song ends up rocking hard too.
‘Hands of Kindness’ is a moving ballad addressed to Christ: “Oh Your hands of mercy were scarred for me/And Your body was broken so that I go free/How I love You/All I am is You/King of love/I bow”. ‘Louder than the Radio’ is an energetic Christian pop song. I like these lyrics: “Everybody round the world come on/We need some love to fall on us/Everybody round the world come on/We need some grace to fall on us.../Can you hear the sound that’s rising?/From all the corners of the earth/And young and old we’ll stand together/Can you hear the praise?/It’s louder than the radio”.
‘White Ribbon Day’ runs close to seven minutes long and was the first single from the album. This modern worship anthem speaks of Calvary and makes requests of God: “How can it be that You could love?/When blood ran down that wooden cross/Your Father gave His only Son/You came for peace/You came to die for white ribbon day/And we pray for peace to flood our hearts again/Only God can save our nation now/And we long for joy to fill our streets again/Only God can save our nation now”. ‘King of Fools’ is a somewhat weak title track: “Walking with you/Blindly follow out upon the/Water runs down/You’ve become the very best of friends/I’ll live for you and try to be the king of fools/I’ll long for you and walk before the King of all”.
‘History Maker’ became a signature song for the band. It’s a modern worship gem of great faith and action: “Is it true today that when people pray/We’ll see dead men rise and the blind set free?/Yes, it’s true and I believe it/I’m living for You/I’m gonna be a history maker in this land/I’m gonna be a speaker of truth to all mankind/I’m gonna stand/I’m gonna run/Into Your arms/Into your arms again”. Last up is ‘What A Friend I’ve Found’, a tender ballad: “What a friend I’ve found/Closer than a brother/I have felt Your touch/More intimate than lovers/Jesus, Jesus/Jesus, friend forever”.
KING OF FOOLS is a lengthy album, coming in at 64 minutes and 2 seconds. On this project it sounds like Delirious? couldn’t make up their mind whether they wanted to make a rock record or a modern praise and worship one. At times it can give the listener whiplash! Don’t get me wrong, there are good songs from each genre here. Five of the tracks are fast, while eight are on the slow side. The main lyrical theme is a desire to be closer to God and to be more like Him. The band truly wants to live for Him. They want to experience revival and share their faith with the world. It is made clear here that God sent His Son Jesus to us to redeem us. There are some goofy photos in the CD booklet that have fun with the album’s title. I’m rating KING OF FOOLS 87%. For more info visit: www.martinsmith.tv or check out the band on Facebook.