IAMX
"Kingdom of Welcome Addiction"

(Metropolis Records 2009)IAMX - Kingdom of Welcome Addiction

Turn off the lights and light some candles. This is IAMX and this is “Kingdom of Welcome Addiction.” Lead man and former Sneaker Pimps head Chris Corner evokes seductive images with the album’s generally noir sound. “Kingdom of Welcome Addiction” is smartly cut suits, heavy fabrics in dark colors, it is romantic and it is desire. But none of it comes easy and all of it is held out from you at an arm’s length. Corner and company aren’t going to deliver that easily.

Sexy and polished, “Kingdom of Welcome Addiction” is a ride. It’s all about bumping and grinding to “Nature of Inviting,” electronics popping and churning, while on the album’s closing track, the solemn ballad “Running,” you’re overwhelmed with loneliness and honesty. Corner postures less on “Running” as he sings, “I must always run the race on my own.” Imogen Heap duets with Corner on the eerie “My Secret Friend” adding to the ghostly background as the bouncing rhythm of “Tear Garden” (a play on the Tiergarten in Corner’s adopted Berlin, perhaps) is simple and straightforward while still being polished and unexpectedly slinky.

Not completely unlike IAMX’s 2006 release (and 2008 re-release) “The Alternative,” “Kingdom of Welcome Addiction” is far more effective packing a punch in a strong tone that is unfailing. The album will have you dancing but also thinking and perhaps even shedding a tear. “Kingdom of Welcome Addiction” is full of lush sounds that are dramatic as IAMX confront a range of emotions that freefall with no abandon. But all the while Corner and IAMX are in complete control.

B+

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