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'The Alternative' is a delicious mix of dark electro pop fused with a generous helping of 80's synth, which combines with the occasional piano ballad to create an infectious and groovy album.
Vocally Chris Corner is spot on and the numerous echo effects combining with the piano work and strong percussion line makes for an excellent album, which is certainly like nothing else I've ever heard.
While the general style of the music may be slightly out of the mainstream, being neither rock, pop or dance but rather a combination of all three, it might take some time for IAMX to break from the underground, but in a way it could be a good thing that it doesn't. Either way, I'd love to see a live show and hopefully there will be one in the not too distant future.
If I have to switch the lights off... I want to switch them off with you... THIS WILL MAKE YOU LOVE AGAIN
'The Alternative' is the 2007 release from IAMX, an album written and produced by Chris Corner. IAMX is in fact a solo project of Chris Corner, a name he has been using now since 2003. This is the second album from IAMX, a minimalist approach has been taken with this record and the music created here possesses an electronic synth sound. I think it's safe to say that I wasn't very impressed with what I heard from this twelve track album, the songs all seem to lack direction and the overall musical creation here is really rather bland.
Every track on this album is extremely repetitive, this is something that is always to be expected really with electronic music but this sound just doesn't work here. The album has quite an industrial edge, there is some strong and powerful use of guitar in the sound but not enough use is made of the guitar here for my liking. Almost every track on this album surpasses the four minute mark, the tracks drag and there is little here to really ever keep you entertained. The vocal tone of Chris Corner is pleasant, not hugely hard hitting however and this album therefore leaves very little impact whatsoever.
If I were to pick a highlight or two from this album then I would have to concede that the industrial edge of 'Nightlife' is quite impressive and also that an excellent driving guitar sound is utilised in the track 'The Negative Sex'. Neither of these tracks is entirely excellent however and every track on this album possesses moments of absolute blandness. The music lacks power here, the vocal tone of Chris Corner is not bad but it does often come across as a little too weak to ever be particularly effective. The thing about this album is that the electronic sound created here has all been done before and done a lot better too. The lyrics are dreadful; the instrumental element is weak, and very rarely does the vocal performance actually impress. The vocals are not bad, they're just a bit soft and this coupled with the dreadful nature of the lyrics provides for really quite a painful overall listening experience.
If you like the music of Depeche Mode then you'll possibly like IAMX also; the music is nowhere near as good but it's all done in a similar sort of fashion anyway. 'The Alternative' is an incredibly bland album, the lyrics are poorly constructed in the sound and the vocals also lack passion and power. I would definitely not recommend listening to this album, if you like the electronic synth-pop sort of sound then there are a lot of better artists out there than this; that's for sure. It's probably best to avoid this one; it's not really worth wasting your time listening to the so-called 'Alternative'.
Label: NoCarbon Records
Release Date: November 2nd 2007
Originally posted by me on my website Alt-UK.com
Disc #1 Tracklisting
4 Lulled by Numbers
5 Song of Imaginary Beings
6 Negative Sex
7 Bring Me Back a Dog
9 Spit It Out
10 After Every Party I Die
11 This Will Make You Love Again