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Music Review: Corporate X – Surrender

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Corporate X singer Christine DeLeon has the willowy whisper of Dolores O’Riordan. But while The Cranberries strived for alternative-lite, Corporate X mix it up. Alternating between downtempo, trip-hop, straight alt-pop, and a heavy groove-oriented sound, this Chicago-based band has garnered a significant amount of buzz for their unconventional style. The band members have a wide range of backgrounds, fueling the unique vision the band is developing.

This 6-song CD (actually 5, the last song is a remix) showcases the band’s diverse musical stylings. The results are uneven. The musical driving force behind the band is Casper Xavier, who writes the music, samples, and beats. Coupled with DeLeon’s vocals, the songs come alive at points, but stay surprisingly static and motionless at others. The opening track, “Mother Earth” is propelled along by nice, sharp drumming, and a soaring vocal performance. The song is more straight ahead alt, punctuated by some interesting instrumentation.

The second song, the sublime “With You” is actually far better as a remix. The final song of the track is labeled “With You" (Van Christie Remix). The adding of loops and back beats gives a trip-hoppy feel — alternating downtempo and smoldering slowcore. If only the rest was as good. The remaining three songs are not bad, but they are not standouts. Production is well layered, you can hear the instruments, separate from the beats. The vocal mix works well with DeLeon’s voice.

Corporate X definitely has far-reaching potential. While it hasn’t quite been reached here, the traces of something greater are sprinkled throughout. Surrender is not a classic by any stretch, but it's a good starting point for a band who has the gifts to be a trendsetter in years to come.

You can buy this EP and learn more about the band at their website.

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