ALBUM: Kingdom of Welcome Addiction
LABEL: Metropolis Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
With his latest IAMX release, Chris Corner continues to surpass his early work in trip-hop project Sneaker Pimps. With its club grooves, glam imagery, and epic melodies, this album is grandiose and infectious, an over the top slice of rock 'n' roll decadence for the 21st century. At times Corner is delicate, almost tender, crooning over pianos or languid electro beats, as on "Nature of Inviting" or "Running," but in the next moment he's tense and wailing, as on "An I for an I," or epic and grandiose, as on "Think of England," which combines his synthpop roots with the symphonic arena rock of Muse, Coldplay or even U2. "My Secret Friend," a duet with Imogen Heap, has more of an underground dance feel, mixing a hint of swirling psychedelia with bass-heavy trip-hop beats in a way that recalls Love and Rockets' later material. For all its modernity, there's also something of a cabaret influence in Corner's work, which should come as no surprise to anyone who's had the opportunity to see one of his theatrical live performances. "Tear Garden" in particular jounces over staccato piano chords and what sounds like a real stand-up bass, and "The Stupid, the Proud" is languid and dramatic, with glockenspiels and pianos evoking a sort of modernist take on Kurt Weill. The theatrical elements are by no means a gimmick, though, and more importantly, they don't at all detract from Corner's songwriting and arrangements; this is a brilliant album and will no doubt be a welcome addiction to glam and synthpop fans.
Check out www.iamx.eu for more information.
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