Borrowing heavily from new wave, 80s synth and a touch of 90s rave, Ladytron return after more than seven years with an incessantly catchy collection of electro-pop tunes that have that special something about them – in most places.
The self-titled Ladytron album takes a little time to hit its stride with Until the Fire enjoyable enough but failing to develop as much as you might anticipate. Conversely single from last year The Island, featuring huge 80s-style synths, manages to build just at the right moment to avoid you losing interest in the track.
Things get significantly better after this point with Tower of Glass, a catchy head-nodder with some intricate organ work and the vocals of lead vocalist Helen Marnie standing out in particular.
The upward trend continues with Far From Home, which starts off a little Human League but that addictive synth track and pop beat end up taking you somewhere else entirely.
Highlight of the album for me was Deadzone, which employs some great vocal structures and layers of atmospherics against an uptempo beat, building to a delicious crescendo.
At 13 tracks and 53 minutes long, this album isn’t exactly of epic length, but it did feel that the last few tracks could have been trimmed and you would not have noticed the difference. Had the album stopped with the moreish You’ve Changed everybody would be left very happy. As it is Horrorscope, The Mountain and Tomorrow is Another Day have some noticeable moments but feel a little laboured.
Bar that, this is a fabulous album and well worth listening to the first 10 tracks at least.
Here’s my view on what were the best albums released last Friday 1st February. There’s a fair few links to my fuller (though still not too long) reviews here too. There’s also a Spotify sample playlist so you can make you own mind up about the artists.
The Specials – Encore
The kings of Ska return to put the world to rights – and don’t we just need it.
Another glut of new releases to work through. Of today’s debuts we see the likes of Ian Brown, The Specials and White Lies offering up some fresh material. I’ll review the best through the coming week and rate them all as I go along.