Ethereal is not a term that comes to mind with a band that chooses a name like The Delgados. And naming their new CD "Hate" tends to prejudice new listeners by conjuring violent images. Those perceptions are fostered with a cursory glance at the lyrics of songs such as "All You Need Is Hate" and "Child Killers." But nothing is as it seems with this Scottish quartet. Hate is everywhere, but dark lives with dark ends are ultimately the light at the end of the tunnel. The Delgados aren't some generation-whatever slackers moaning about their fate in life; death pervades these 12 numbers. Where's the hope in that? Their pointed commentary about the homeless and mentally ill, among other social afflictions, leaves little doubt that there is no Shangri-La, and those accusations often begin with the person as close as the one with the newspaper in hand. The packaging in lush orchestration and feel-good melodies gives the impression that this life can't be taken seriously, at least not by the living. "No one here gets out alive," warns vocalist Alun Woodward in "Child Killer." And to The Delgados, that's a good thing.
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