Review: Ladytron – Gravity the Seducer

Ladytron are one of our go-to bands. Since the unparalleled Witching Hour, they’ve stood head and shoulders above most in the world of electronic music. We’re going to be there day one of any new Ladytron release with bells on. The early signs were inconclusive. The first tracks released were sleepy but well crafted bits of etherial-pop that were good but left no real impression. We needed the whole thing to get a real measure of what these folks are up to in 2011.

So what have they wrought this time around? The sleepy theme rules the day on many of these tracks and surprisingly often the album comes off more “beautiful” than “great”. By that we mean the production has never been cleaner, Helen Marnie’s voice has never sounded lovelier, and the swooping synths have never sounded so gorgeous. There’s an elegance to the entire affair that’s fun and classes up the joint a little, right down the outstanding cover art (Ladytron do good album covers, now and forever). But on much of the album the soul of the band doesn’t come through as much as one might like. It sounds lovely but doesn’t click as memorable often enough, at least not as often as we have been led to expect. 

That said, “Melting Ice” grooves nicely, “Mirage” is beautiful and catchy, “Transparent Days” sounds like a classic O.M.D. instrumental, “Moon Palace” featuring Mira Aroyo on lead vocal has some really nice synth hooks with sounds reminiscent of classic-era Depeche Mode, “White Elephant” is just a great song with smart lyrics – there’s lots of good stuff here but it’s missing that amazing song to anchor the album. There’s no “Runaway”, “Seventeen” or “International Dateline” here. It’s a very competent album, and even a competent Ladytron album stands as one of the better electronic releases of the year to date, but the bar is higher for this band and when you produce music as good as they have they have to keep reaching the brass ring every time or it ends up feeling flat by comparison. That may not be fair but “great” begets “expected to be great again”, and it is what it is. The album sounds warmer and more welcoming on listen 12 then listen one, so it shows every sign of being a grower, as was Velocifero before it, so we hold back some of our judgement for the time being, but suffice it to say for now, it’s not Ladytron’s best, but merely “good” or “solid” Ladytron is still very, very welcome any day…

Watch: White Elephant

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2 Responses to “Review: Ladytron – Gravity the Seducer”

  1. dark matter Says:

    GTS is not Ladytron’s best album, but a great one. My rating is 8/10 after 15 listens.

  2. I am in complete agreement with this review! I am looking forward to repeated listens for the growing to happen!!!

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