Delays: Valentine

A better Valentine’s gift than manky petrol station flowers

Unlikely though it might sound from your first listen to this pulsating, lude-fuelled descent into disco psychosis, it was once possible to set your watch by the steady drip of Delays’ (still not ‘The’) musical output. One or two notable exceptions aside – in particular the fantastic, spiralling La’s-esque jangle of ‘Nearer Than Heaven’ – the Southampton-based quartet seemed most likely to linger in the already over-populated shadow of Jeff Buckley, before tripping over their own petted lips into Starsailor’s open grave. But lo! The cojones they hinted at on 2004’s one-off single ‘Lost In A Melody’ have well and truly dropped; ‘Valentine’ – the first single from second album ‘You See Colours’ – is arguably the best thing they’ve ever done, one of those singles that makes you sit up and take notice.

Gyrating into life with its fluctuating bassline and the otherworldly – not to mention slightly unnatural – sound of frontman Greg Gilbert’s quivering falsetto, before launching into a chorus so huge it sounds as though it was beamed down from Jake Shears’ glistening mirrorball mothership, the whole song brims with a new-found confidence and sassiness. It’s a swaggering, cocksure mini-epic, and if they didn’t look like such wholesome boys and write swoonsome lines like “Maybe/This is the moment to pray, dear/But I’d rather lay by your side” – we’d swear it could’ve been written and recorded on a potent brew of Viagra, MDMA and champagne cocktails. All told, the first great comeback single of 2006.

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