IAMX have really got a unique sound, immediately recognizable. A sound that Chris Corner has been working towards all the way from Sneaker Pimps in the nineties. “In Volatile Times” is still unmistakeably Chris Corner, but somehow the songs don’t stick with me as they used to. Maybe I’m just older and more cynical though, as this album is still filled with gorgeous tunes.
As usual, variation is Chris’ motto. The burlesque “Bernadette” sort of continues where “President” left off on “The Alternative”, waltzing along a steady beat, whereas the first single “Ghosts of Utopia” is more straight forward electronic pop fare. There’s also a rocky little number called “Into Asylum”, rough around the edges and distorted.
The album ends with one of the best songs in my opinion: the epically beautiful “Oh Beautiful Town”. On first listen the album also ended with a slight sense of disappointment that’s hard to explain. I realize that my expectations on Chris Corner are above and beyond everything he could possibly muster, and I have since realized that this is still a stonkingly great album, worthy of all my praise. It doesn’t contain such songs as “Mercy”, “Missile” or “Spit It Out”. It is however a grower, and even after listening to it a number of times I discover new, beautiful things about it.