Echo Echo, IAMX’s ninth effort, is proof that Chris Corner, leader and founder of the group, knows how to renew himself. Consisting of acoustic versions of 11 of his songs, this album transports us once again into his singular universe.
We can see here that he’s stripped down his most beautiful constructions, traced on them ornamental patterns with many details, and finally applied a thick layer of varnish on the whole. Carefully crafted and embellished with fine arrangements, Echo Echo does not, however, sink into excessive ornamentation. “Kiss and Swallow”, where the synth lines are simply replaced by a slightly electrified acoustic guitar, is a good example. Corner’s falsetto is nicely highlighted on these distilled tracks, moments like “Mercy”, “The Background Noise” and “Surrender”.
The three previous albums have been the “soundtrack” of his progressive rise out of the darkness. If we had to associate colours to these albums, Metanoia would be an opaque black streaked with red, Unfall would be located in a slightly incongruous grey zone, and Alive in New Light would be white and luminous. What are the colours of Echo Echo? Indigo studded with patches of gold… A night without too many artifice, settling quietly in the listener’s soul.
It remains to be seen how this album will be interpreted in concert, as the band is used to high-voltage performances. For the moment, it’s a pure delight.