1: Metanoia: IAMX.
“Self-loathing or the darkest drug will never keep me,
You make my heart sing.”
Metanoia is the sixth studio album by IAMX: The solo project of vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Corner. The album is a shining jewel in the IAMX back catalog and features wonderful, atmospheric production filled with haunting melodies and impressively delivered vocals.
Corner’s limitless range expertly delivers throughout the course of Metanoia’s 11 track span. Metanoia is a delight to listen to even when it explores themes of mental despair and self directed hatred.
Top Tracks: No Maker Made Me, Happiness, Wildest Wind, Insomnia.
2: The Original High: Adam Lambert.
“My life flashed before my eyes,
Razor blade lips and daggers up in your eyes,
Baby, you love is a crime.
You’re danger by day, but evil in the night.”
It comes as no surprise that the vocals on a Adam Lambert record are fuc*king incredible. However, on The Original High Lambert showcases something we hadn’t seen from him before…restraint. Vocal and artistic restraint are obvious on this record and it really shines. Adam’s stripped down vocals over the sparse house music production create an album which is a delight to listen to.
Lyrically The Original High deals with depression, addiction and self destruction.
Top Tracks: Underground, Evil In The Night, Ghost Town, The Original High.
3: Aesthetic Perfection: All Beauty Destroyed.
“And everyone is so torn,
Between truth and a false veneer.
Well no one wants to be alone,
In the wake of their faults and fears.”
I couldn’t write this article and not include an offering from alternative club icon Aesthetic Perfection. By far the most aggressive offering on this list All Beauty Destroyed is an alt club ready burst of brutish Aggrotech Industrial music.
Switching effortlessly between impressive clean vocals and rasping screams All Beauty Destroyed is as varied as it it is enjoyable.
Top Tracks: A Nice Place To Visit, Hit The Streets, The Little Death, All Beauty Destroyed.
4: Melanie Martinez: Crybaby.
“Grabbed my hand, pushed me down
Took the words right out my mouth
Tag, you’re it. Tag, tag, you’re it”
Despite the childlike themes and imagery used without this record, Crybaby is dark and full of twisted imagery. Childhood themes are spun into tales of sexuality, mental illness and sexual assault.
It features some wonderful production which allows Martinez’s small voice to shine to its full potential. Her voice is full of character and is perfectly suited to this style of music.
Minimal, catchy and enjoyable Crybaby is a dark, honest and enjoyable listen.
Top Tracks: Mad Hatter, Soap, Cake, Pacify Her, Tag You’re It.
5: Taxidermy: Sharon Needles.
“Say that you won’t leave,
Together we die alone,
Love is a sick joke”
Queen of Halloween Sharon Needles created an incredible sophomore album with Taxidermy. The flawless, minimal production suits her androgynous voice. Her macabre lyrics feel both serious and tongue in cheek. Also for a drag album it is a thoroughly cohesive body of work that anybody could listen to and enjoy.
Weird enough to be on this list, but mainstream enough for mass appeal .
Top Tracks: Dracula, Dead Dandilion, Wendigo, Hollywoodn’t.