2006-2008, there were rumors of a new record from The U.K.’s Sneaker Pimps, including leaked demo tracks. But instead, Sneaker Pimp Chris Corner has followed up his 2006 solo record as IAMX, The Alternative, with his third IAMX release, Kingdom of Welcome Addiction. Continuing in the operatic electronica of his first two, Kingdom is still his most evocative work to date.
The slow, epic strains of Kingdom are surprisingly effective. Only a few times does the album feel overdone or over-synthed (like back-to-back “An I For An I” & “I Am Terrified”); instead, Corner is able to deliver his emotion with relative conviction. The meaning elevates the grand electronic sound on pieces like the title track, “Think of England”, and “You Can Be Happy”. There’s also some variety, in the stripped, sad strum “The Stupid, The Proud”, and the piano rhythm & haunt of “Tear Garden” and “My Secret Friend” (the latter featuring Imogen Heap) – though those two might have been better served if not back-to-back on the track list.
IAMX lacks some of the hook (and female vox) of Sneaker Pimps, but Corner has successfully replaced that with his own emotion, to combine with his natural electronic skill & vision. He might call his alter ego “an act”, but it is a Welcome one.