“You have been left alone. The creature of innocence. You lie for what you’re worth.”
There’s always a singer that goes beyond what is expected of them. They’re not just someone who spills their guts out on stage. They’re not just someone who manages to convey every frail and petrifying feeling you have burning inside of you. They’re that friend at 4am when no one else is around. They are the secure arms around you that you need when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom. Thing is, you can always hit lower than rock bottom. There is something lower than that. It takes a lot to hit it, and it takes even more to get yourself up from out of it. The romanticism in suffering and aching has always been glorified by many singers and writers. Personally, I love it. Yet I know there are so many that would shy away from it. I say, never turn your back on anything dark- for there will come a time in life where it will provide comfort.
I could easily sum this all up in one sentence. I could easily put my thoughts about Chris Corner into one small sentence, but he deserves more than that. He deserves more than a “He is a genius” kind of thing. So, as I respect him and love him more than most I say I love, he’s going to get a ramble of sorts. If you don’t love him or if you’re not a fan- then maybe this isn’t for you? I honestly don’t expect anyone to read this or anything like that. I guess I just need to offload my love for him somehow. I’m going to try. And with great efforts come hitting a wall, being lost for words. I am fully expecting to just struggle with getting the words out. I’ll try, as ever.
To even try to think why I love Chris/IAMX is enough to make my brain explode. It all started in 2007. I heard Nightlife for the first time. I was at Uni, and I had a sense of freedom. But something was holding me back. I’ve always been painfully shy. I know some may mistake it for arrogance. I’m not like that. I’m just shy, and I try my best to stop being that way most of the time. A lot of the time, I have nothing to say. Yet sometimes, I do have something to say. But I’ve learnt that keeping quiet is easier, you know? Why say it when someone gets the words out for you? That’s where Chris Corner comes in. Before I truly got into his music, I found myself reading his lyrics like a poem rather than giving in to the actual songs. I have so many songs by him that I could put in the “songs that saved my life” pile. One song in particular that just sums it all up has to be I Am Terrified. The sadness in this song is so overwhelming. I’d probably cry right now as I listen to it, but I’m far too tired. I feel as if I could sleep for a whole week and still be exhausted. I don’t know. I Am Terrified is like a plea of sorts and also owning up to not being strong. For so long I thought it was important to be tough. As I get older, I sort of feel, “well fuck it. I get sad sometimes but I’m okay for the most part. If I want to cry, I’ll go have a cry.” You should never fear what you feel- this is another valuable thing I have learnt from Chris Corner.
Have you ever been with someone who always demanded you be strong? Yet you know they are fucking you over? It happens to us all. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. You cannot avoid it. You’ll survive though, we all do. There’s no harm in hurt. It’s all on how you deal with it. You see, Chris Corner makes you feel as if he is talking to YOU. That every word he writes down then sings is made just for YOU. Why on Earth is this man not given the respect and love he does? Well, those that love him know that none of this matters. The love you have for him in your heart is enough. His music makes you believe you can survive and be what you need to be. The outcome doesn’t scare you. You can do this. You may feel alone, but you’ve got the music. Songs like Running just make you feel like you are not alone with how you feel. We are told to embrace being different, yet when we show a hint of it- we are shot down. Why is being true to yourself constantly seen as a battle? Set yourself free, and play Running. Play it through headphones. Play it when you are on your own; something will take you over. Just let it happen.
Without sounding like a massive pretentious prick, his music honestly sounds better at night time. As it gets dark, his music fills you with life. At night, that’s when most of us are alone (I don’t mean lonely. A person can feel lonely even when in the company of others) so you seek out a sound for a touch of comfort. I have played his music so many times in utter darkness and it honestly feels like my body is being taking into a different universe. Every feeling (that is positive) you truly feel and is heightened when you listen to IAMX at night. If I could drive, I’d probably play it loud and drive for hours and hours. Getting lost and not caring if I find my way back. You can take a journey like that inside your head anyway, can’t you.
Maybe I should’ve written this and taken some songs apart. But I decided to jut attempt to get out how his music makes me feel. There is love, power, disdain, fury, vulnerability, fear, raw and gentle all throughout his music. There are so many songs that just mean so much to me, but I truly challenge anyone (even if they claim to be tough) to not break down a bit whilst listening to This Will Make You Love Again. I played it once when I thought “oh fuck..my life is over.” We all have that moment in our lives. It is never over though is it? There’s always something to give us hope. I mean, I used to think I was someone who couldn’t love. I can love, but by no means does that mean I think I am loveable. I don’t think I am but hey..I’ve got music, right? The Alternative was like a crutch for me for so long. I listen to it religiously now, obviously I hold a lot of sentimental value to this record. It stopped me from sending myself crazy I guess. It’s just one of the most beautiful records I have ever heard and probably will ever hear. This Will Make You Love Again makes you feel okay with life. It makes you want to seek the one you wish to have, and play this to them- so they truly get it. Maybe they wouldn’t understand. If they don’t love IAMX or haven’t heard of Chris Corner, then find someone new.
I feel as if I could write about how much of a genius Chris is forever, yet at the same time- my words do not do him justice. I think the only way to end this is to quote one of the most beautiful verses of all time:
“When the joys of living just leave you cold. Frozen from the failing mess you’ve made your own. And if you want an ending to your screenplay life, well here’s the consolation that will change your heart and mind.”
They are the best. I love them always. Just beautiful voice and sound and soul.
Thank you so much for writing this ❤ Very beautiful article and very well written to say the least. You've captured my emotions as well as the essence of my love for this man as well. I just recently started listening to his music back in February around the time of my birthday… I feel as though it was a birthday present from the universe (or whatever you want to call it). He speaks to me in such a way that is so beautifully different from every other artist / musician / singer / songwriter. I've been touched before but never this deeply. I've felt alone even in unconditional loving company… but with him and his music I'm taken to a feeling space that I believe heaven would feel like. I hope to one day meet him to be able to look him in the eyes and show him how much he means to me… just by being himself he has given me (and seemingly many others) a nonphysical place to be free, to not feel alone, and to feel loved (understood).
Hey Kassandra, thank you so much for reading it! He really is someone that once you listen to, that’s it. A strong connection and it sometimes a connection to a musician like this goes deeper than anything we know. He just knows how to get to the core of something and makes you feel like it was written about/for you x