On his first solo effort – “Kiss + Swallow” – he took the best bits of Depeche Mode, Placebo and Radiohead (sort of) and made it into one of the best albums of 2004. Listen to “Mercy” and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Now two years later, he’s back with “The Alternative”, a more focused pop album, with slightly more guitars on it. Don’t let that scare you off though, because this is fantastic stuff. Overall it's perhaps even better than "Kiss + Swallow", which is no mean feat. Chris just exudes musicality, and his voice is strong enough to move mountains. From the mellow first track “President” on to the kickass “The Alternative” and the groovy electro-funk of “Nightlife”, the album takes hold of you and never lets go. He mixes up-tempo songs with some more beautiful, introspective pieces – and the dark, hypnotic “Bring Me Back a Dog” – before the ultimate electronic pop song comes along: “Spit It out”. Holy cow, this is perfection. Three minutes of heavenly melodies, electronic bass lines, soaring voices, pianos and synths clanging make me a happy man indeed.
What’s more shocking is that the next song “After Every Party I Die” is almost equally good. It is a bit indie-poppish, featuring bass guitar and washes of electric guitar as well. And what if I tell you that the finishing track “This Will Make You Love Again” is also fantastic? This powerful track finishes off this marvellous collection of songs, with just vocals, piano and strings.
Seeing as I can’t really find any more superlatives to throw on this album, let me just say that the rating is extremely well deserved for making a varied, unique sounding album that I just can’t stop listening to. Literally.
Click to order I AM X