Straight off the back of We Don't Need To Whisper, and with Matt Wachter taking over on bass, Angel & Airwaves were ready to head back into the studio to begin work on their second album I-Empire. The album would be a concept album of the utopian future Tom had outlined in We Don't Need To whisper, that whereas their debut spoke of destruction and re-birth, I-Empire would follow on the story of what happens after birth. In a Kerrang interview, Tom stated of the album "this is as exciting as rock n roll gets."
The first album to be recorded at Jupiter Sound (Macbeth's Studios), work began on I-Empire early in 2007, with four tracks from the album being debuted during the 'Everybody Hurts' tour in June. These tracks, 'Secret Crowds', 'Lifeline', 'Sirens' and 'Everything’s Magic', were recorded and leaked online, giving fans worldwide a taste of what I-Empire would sound like.
There's a mellower feel to I-Empire, a more melodic tone and a vibrancy to the lyrics that echoes the album's concept of a new, positive world. It's evident the band had relaxed into its musical direction, as this album showcases a band comfortable in its skin. Whilst still leaning towards the same influences as We Don't Need To Whisper, there's a few new touches, the introduction of more synthesizer and a more alternative rock vibe.
There's an entirely lighter feel to this album, with this positive slant showcased particularly well on the tracks 'Everything’s Magic' and 'Secret Crowds', whilst 'True Love' sees Angels and Airwaves in full-on U2 mode, bringing the middle of the album to life with a hit of arena rock. Rounding off I-Empire with the uplifting track 'Heaven', a guitar-laden explosion of racing drums and synthesisers is a stroke of musical genius, bringing to a head Tom's vision for the album and the concept of a better future born of destruction.
I-Empire was released in November 2007, but had been leaked a week previously on the internet. Debuting at #9 on the US Billboard charts, the album has gone on to sell over half a million copies worldwide. 'Everything’s Magic' was chosen as the lead single, with 'Secret Crowds' a popular second single. 'Secret Crowds' did well commercially due to the success of the airplay on MTV2, and also on the Kerrang! and Scuzz music channels in the UK. Although I-Empire didn't managed to take the world by storm on quite the same commercially successful level as their debut album, it was still an impressive effort for Angels & Airwaves sophomore release.