IAMX – The Unified Field: Viva Music Album Review

April 1, 2013 in Album Reviews

iamx_the_unified_field_2013_cover

Oana Dorobantu for VIVA MUSIC 

Tracklist:  “I Come With Knives” * “Sorrow” * “The Unified Field” * “The Adrenalin Room” * “Quiet the Mind” * “Under Atomic Skies” * “Screams” * “Come Home” * “Animal Impulses” * “Walk With The Noise” * “Land of Broken Promises” * “Trials” *

Release Date: PledgeMusic – International 22-Mar.

About IAMX: IAMX  is Sneaker Pimps’ frontman Chris Corner’s multimedia project, a melting pot of music and visual art experiments. Bordering somewhere between dark and sensual electro with an agressive or nostalgic beat, IAMX has been the talk of the town since its debut in 2004. Come 2013, the project has more unified aural and visual roots which stand up to the test with this new album based on the scientific theory of a universal consciousness that binds all people together. Chris Corner has stated that in this body of work he is attempting to “accept human nature for what it is and learn to love it”. Not an easy task, but when creative juices are pumping and flowing, the end result is both mesmerizing and challenging.

IAMX: “THE UNIFIED FIELD” – VIVA MUSIC REVIEW:

Right off the bat one of our most contemplated upon releases in 2013 was the new IAMX album. With every release, this band raises the bar higher and higher for their scene and it never stays in the studio. The creative force behind IAMX is one encompassing music production, visual aesthetics, and powerful performances that make you yearn for more. After 2011’s Volatile Times, both the album and the associated tour left audiences everywhere with a sugar tooth that wouldn’t stop aching. With “The Unified Field“, Chris Corner delivered big time on a promise he silently made to his fans everywhere – a promise to never be forgotten. 

From the head start “The Unified Field” is powerful album, striking its audience firstly with compelling imagery. The album cover features the black and white sketch of a cross section of a pregnant woman with a realistic depiction of child in utero, an image later smeared with blood only to further potent the idea of birth or, dare we say, rebirth after the deathly cover of IAMX’s previous album. True to this nature, the album bears similarities to the band’s prior body of work, yet it focuses on a new aural era in Chris Corner’s musical evolution. This is the first album in a long time for which Corner didn’t do all the work himself, but collaborated with familiar names for a completely new sound: Grammy award winning producer Jim Abbiss, former Sneaker Pimp Liam Howe, and video maker Danny Drysdale have all left an impressive mark on how this album would be referred to by fans worldwide.

You can’t think of universal consciousness without your mind going around the globe and that’s probably what Corner had in mind when he made the first song off the album, “I Come With Knives“. From the mix of German and English in the lyrics to the use of a xylophone to darken up an otherwise all electro beat, this song picks up the pace for the album thematic. Speaking of dark songs, is “Sorrow” a lugubrious hymn because of the deathly nature of the feeling or did “sorrow” just go through a whirlwind of pain and anguish because of the Vitas resembling ghostly high vocals? The answer comes with the next song, titling the album, a distinctive 80s  synthpop revival only to be toned down by the uncanny bass line of “The Adrenaline Room” – a properly titled song: if it doesn’t give you the chills, you need to go back and watch Cooper’s dwarf dance from Twin Peaks again. “Quiet The Mind” was probably put right after to bring the listener back to Earth through a cleaner composition and less eerie vocals. Corner continues with his gentle comeback to reality with the mellow “Under Atomic Skies“, only to reach out and twist this album back into its IAMX essence with “Screams“, a song plucked from the raw sexual, drug filled nightmares of a nightlife enthusiast. This turn back to the roots continues with the cello infused gothic piece, “Come Home“, and once again we’re thrown into Corner’s carnival style dark fairytale with “Animal Impulses“. We’re not quite sure what happy place “Walk With The Noise” came from, but we’re really into it and can’t wait to dance to it in a club ASAP – this is the instant dance hit of the album, by far. And we’ve reached the weirdest influences of the album with “Land Of Broken Promises” which starts with the carnival feeling Corner has gotten us used to, then passes through some sort of Sin City cringing vocals moment, only to go full on uptempo in midsong and suddenly start to resemble a folkloric  hora towards the end – if that doesn’t prove the unpaired creativity of this album, we don’t know what does. The album ends with the slightly ethereal “Trials“, a downtempo ballad which as most last songs off IAMX albums make you want the album to go on forever. Go ahead and give it a listen! It’s more than worth your while.

IAMX: Official Website | Facebook

 

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: