"Kiss + Swallow"

(Metropolis Records 2008)IAMX - Kiss + Swallow

With his longtime musical creation The Sneaker Pimps on a hiatus, Chris Corner has adopted the pseudonym IAMX for his solo project. If IAMX is ringing any bells, don't be surprised; it might be because "Kiss + Swallow," his newest US release (or re-release, if you prefer), came out abroad four years ago sans a Moonbootica remix of the title track and a music video. With a mix of dark, mysterious and, low key sounding electronics that are being dubbed, somewhat generously, "industrial" and powerful, fluid vocals, "Kiss + Swallow" is as much glam as it is goth.

Corner does not fill the album with obvious hooks. Instead the tracks gently reveal themselves while winning you over without your consent. He steals the spirit of Marc Bolan for "Sailor," creating a sleazy, sexed up tune, and then pouts slowly, seductively while affecting a childlike wonder on "I Like Pretending" while for "You Stick It In Me" a disinterested voice spends much of the song repeating the title before declaring "I love you, you sex clown" over a clapping rhythm. The dreamy ballad "Missle" brings Radiohead to mind with its stream of gentle vocals as, similarly, "I-Polaroids" goes for a far less goth or glam sound with feedback reverberating over a driving bass thump.

It takes Corner a while to get going on "Kiss + Swallow" but once his equipment is warmed up, the music pours out. Halfway through the album Corner turns everything up and that is when things finally get interesting. The rhythms pound heavier and quicker while the lyrics get seedier and more debauched. And that is when "Kiss + Swallow" finds its stride, offering a more interesting, often quirky, sound that carries you away to the dance floor.


buy it!