Album: Alive in new light
Genre: Electronic / Alternative
Release Date: 2nd February 2018
Label: Caroline/ Universal
IAMX is the solo project of Chris Corner who started his musical career as founding member of SNEAKER PIMPS in the 90’s. In 2004 the critically acclaimed debut album ‘Kiss + swallow’ was released. Chris describes this project as his public therapy with which he can explore parts of his personality, connect with the world, pour his heart out and dance at the same time. And all this is reflected in the music he creates. Originally London based he lived and worked on his music for several years in Berlin before he moved to Los Angeles a few years ago. Including this album IAMX have released eight albums and six EPs, remix and live albums. Some months ago I reviewed Chris Corner’s excursion into the experimental music/ sounds with his album ‘Unfall’ and was not keen on it. The information that soon after this album another “regular” album will follow appeased me. And here it is!
The album was recorded in the Californian desert, in a trailer facing the mountains but far away from the touristic places. In this silent and secluded location Chris was able to fully concentrate on mixing the sounds for his songs. With this album Chris Corner wants to herald the start of a new era. Have the last two albums reflected the process of the suffering and the fighting against his depressions, ‘Alive in new light’ is his celebration of breaking free from it. But of course it is not a sudden happy-go- lucky soundtrack, instead it reflects the process - a kind of metamorphosis. As usual Chris let the fans participate in this development of self-therapy and healing journey. Once again, alone with his beautiful voice full of emotions he is able to convince the listener of the authenticity of the topics he is singing of. For those who watch frequently the serial ‘How to get away with murder’ the song ‘Mile deep hollow’ is already well known. By the way this is already the fifteenth song that was synced on ABC TVs blockbuster. Kat Von D., the postmodern tattoo and makeup artist, makes her appearance on four songs of the album.
With monotone synth rhythm the opener ‘Stardust’ starts before the danceable melody sets in. The lyrics reflects the beginning of the transformation from shaking off the emotional chaos and darkness to the point where you ask yourself what to expect next. The title track is a celebration of his rising from the ashes - to have survived, to be alive. Intensively sung you believe every word. ‘Break the chains’ is a mid-tempo song with a hypnotic melody underlined with Sirens-like background singing. The song is about the painful process of breaking free which is perfectly transferred by Chris’s singing - you almost feel the pain yourself. The fourth song now is an up-tempo song and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is soon played on the dance floors of the alternative clubs. I also wouldn’t be much surprised if some interesting remixes will follow soon.
Though the following song is about the intimacy between two people the background beats and noises have something disturbing as it has a lot of an industrial song with the hammering that reminds you of an MRT, then the noises of steelworks and the even more unsettling crackle like a Geiger counter. The resemblance of the works of BJORK are not unintentional. ‘Stalker’ is a duet with Kat Von D. and despite the title it is more a sexy, seductive song about two lovers with an exotic touch in the melody. The sound of ‘Big man’ is circus or funfair of the old times like but reminds also of some of the early songs of IAMX and with it the lyrics are perfectly underlined reflecting the grotesque and absurd of the big men in the world. Second to last song is ‘Mile deep hollow’. Though the title sounds very dismal it actually is about gratitude towards the people who helped him to come out of his darkness. The album is finished with ‘The power and the glory’ and as a kind of epilogue it is a contemplative song with an almost church like background chorus.
In summary I have to say that with every further listening I fall more and more in love with this album. Not only has mastermind Chris the skill to create sounds and melodies that cast a spell on the listener but his voice is pure emotion. He sings his life and it is bittersweet and enchanting.
02. Alive in new light
03. Break the chains
04. Body politics
07. Big man
08. Mile deep hollow
09. The power and the glory
http://iamxmusic.com / https://www.facebook.com/IAMXOFFICIAL
Total: 10 / 10