‘Kingdom of Welcome Addiction’ is the 3rd release from UK artist IAMX.
IAMX is the stage name of Chris Corner who was first brought onto the scene through the Sneaker Pimps and had a fair amount of success doing so.
With this album it seems that he was tired of having to answer questions about his lifestyle and if IAMX is his real personality or just a persona. Many of the themes in Kingdom of Welcome Addiction distance themselves from his previous albums. With this album it is filled with much more familiar themes in the industrial genre; pain and longing rather than the more debaucherous fare that we have previously heard from him.
The title track from this album is a powerful one, with an almost epic kind of drama to it. The song has a kind of frantic quality to it conveying the ramblings of a pain filled, cluttered mind. I am Terrified is probably one of the most revealing songs he has ever released. Its a beautiful song that Chris himself has described as an exposing, nave, therapy ballad. An orchestra in Berlin called The Unfall Orchestra recorded the strings and horns and it comes together in a brilliant heart-wrenching ballad of vulnerability.
If there was anything I could ask of IAMX to improve the listen ability of their music, it would be to change up the vocal effect from song to song. He seems to have one range, one sound and whereas the music may change from song to song the vocal feeling and effects do not. There are many times listening to his albums where the power and emotion of the music are sapped by the underpowered range of the overlying vocal track.
Overall Kingdom of Welcome Addiction is comparable to his other albums. He has a sound, and hes good at doing it. This album continues down the same path as Kiss and Swallow and The Alternative without much change or growth musically.
Honestly, sometimes that is a welcome thing. Once you find an artist that you enjoy sometimes you just want them to continue to do what they are good at.
There are fewer things more disappointing then looking forward to the release of an album to find that they have gone some weird new direction and they no longer resemble the artist you loved (*cough Metallica).
I am all for personal growth and a musician honing their skills as they find out what they are good at and experiment with new things, but sometimes its just nice to get what you expect from an album.