“II” by Delusion Squared is a deliciously varied album… with some tremendous instrumentation and an enthusiasm for melody. To call this album “progressive rock” would be a disservice because, whilst the music is distinctly and proudly progressive, there is more than just rock going on in their songs… metal riffs and fabulous synths allude to influences outwith the rock genre… which is a good thing.
The layers of sound presented by Lorraine Young (guitars & vocals), Steven Francis (guitars, drums and keyboards) and Emmanuel de Saint Méen (bass and keyboards) in their songs provide a real sonic depth that is simply wonderful… which, combined with the variations in time signature and focus on melody, give these tracks a heady flow that makes for a tremendous listening experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album and was constantly amazed as to where it went… with all the twists and turns in instrumentation… moving from chunky guitars to acoustic guitars… from sensitive piano-orientated melodies to deliciously big “out there” synths… there is a flow to this album… with this instrumentation accompanied at all times by some great and engaging percussion.
My only criticism… and it is a minor criticism… is that Young‘s vocals can seem a bit samesy compared with the wondrous variety of sounds on offer… it’s like she’s restrained some how… held back… and needs to really let go. Don’t get me wrong… she’s a great singer and technically very strong… but it’s as if she needs to go wild. In fact, I would love to hear her go wild… I think that would be truly a moment to behold.
We get close to her letting go on “Naked Solipsism” which is, for me, the real stand-out track on this album… I think, in part, because of the harmonies that Young brings to the table. It takes their sound forward and I really wish she brought more harmonies into the other songs. It is also quite stripped back, at least at the start, which gives her room to manoeuvre.
If you like your music varied… with a progressive leaning… then I would heartily recommend this album and happily award it 7.5 out of 10.