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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 00s are Ladytron's decade
Once upon a time, electronic acts were routinely dismissed for fetishising sounds at the expense of musical substance. It's ironic, then, that Ladytron have written some of the best songs of the 00s while the 21st century rock'n'roll brigade, largely concerned with approaching various sonic blueprints from yesteryear, have rarely managed to pen anything memorable, let...
Published on 24 Sept. 2008 by Zuri Z

versus
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars missed opportunity
After 'Witching Hour', I had great hopes for the new album. The one which would drag the band out of their cult status and get the commercial credit they have long been overdue. However, due to the bands continued drive towards a more harder 'U.S' sound and leaning ever more towards a 'live' sounding album, they have drove themselves into a cul-de-sac with...
Published on 14 Jun. 2008 by D. J. Hoggett


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 00s are Ladytron's decade, 24 Sept. 2008
By 
This review is from: Velocifero (Audio CD)
Once upon a time, electronic acts were routinely dismissed for fetishising sounds at the expense of musical substance. It's ironic, then, that Ladytron have written some of the best songs of the 00s while the 21st century rock'n'roll brigade, largely concerned with approaching various sonic blueprints from yesteryear, have rarely managed to pen anything memorable, let alone lasting.

Ladytron's latest strike Velocifero is their best so far: 53 minutes and not one weak track. The opening `Black Cat' appears to merge three distinct Dario Argento soundtracks into one: a gothic keyboard motif reminiscent of Profondo Rosso, the mechanic 80s beat of Tenebrae, and the stomach-punching synth drum accents of Suspiria. Wow.

`Ghosts' is essentially an electro glam rock shuffle. That concept isn't new, but where Goldfrapp were trying, Ladytron do it effortlessly and emerge with a much more natural sense of melody.

`I'm Not Scared' features more of Helen Marnie's ethereal vocal melodies and is the standout track of the album. Ladytron's vocal lines being idiosyncratic as they are, I'm often under the impression the band have invented and patented their own scales.

While on earlier efforts Mira Aroyo's harshly spoken vocals exuded the charm of a communist border guard from a 1980s Stallone movie, she utilizes her native Bulgarian in a way that makes the language sound genuinely sexy on the sublime `Kletva'. Imagine smoothly coming down from speed on an early summer morning, laying in a park with friends you've spent a night out with. You might have a few cans and a few lines left, and there's a sexual undercurrent to your interaction. `Kletva' is the sonic equivalent of that atmosphere. Strangely enough, it's actually the cover of an old Bulgarian children's TV tune.

I'm not sure if Ladytron's boys Daniel and Reben should be allowed to ever sing again, as happens on `Versus', but this is a minor complaint considering the album's overall gorgeousness.

From 2001's innocent 604 through the soft-focus lensed Light and Magic (2002) and the rock-tinted Witching Hour (2005), Ladytron's journey has been one from self-consciously naive quirkiness and melancholy-lite towards more intensely bleak scenarios. Velocifero peaks as their darkest album thus far, a quality further carved out by a harsher and harder production. Parallels could be drawn to Depeche Mode's gradual transformation from new wave synth popsters to industrial and rock flavoured gloom merchants in the 80s - a band whose outlook was not a million light years away from Ladytron's.

At the beginning of the decade, the NME granted Ladytron their 15 minutes of exposure. Maybe that was the problem. Ladytron's slick, detached image seemed to signify style over content, especially in contrast to the simultaneously bourgeoning `new rock revolution' - a random selection of garage punk Johnny-come-latelies and "scruffy" indie rock combos hailed as the real thing by the NME. While Miss Kittenesque ditties such as `Seventeen' found some resonance with the electroclash crowd, it went largely unnoticed that Ladytron were capable of writing classic songs such as `Blue Jeans`, an understated tune that would have made The Velvet Underground and Nico proud. Ladytron didn't achieve more than a solid cult following.

But given the quality of their subsequent efforts, and especially with Velocifero being yet another improvement in the songwriting department, there really is no reason why Ladytron shouldn't be one of the biggest acts in the world.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker, but no less brilliant..., 26 Aug. 2008
By 
This review is from: Velocifero (Audio CD)
...give it a couple of plays, and play it loud. One misgiving: try not to listen to this on tinny little iPod speakers or headphones - they just can't cope with the omnipresent bass synth that rumbles throughout the whole album. You'll need a decent hi-fi for this, otherwise the whole thing distorts. I wonder how often artists think of this when they're in the studio?
(Incidentally, why has nobody else mentioned 'Burning Up' as a standout track?)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An album of gothic monoliths., 17 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Velocifero (Audio CD)
Ok, I've had this album now since it's release a fortnight ago. Initially I'd been very excited about it because I jumped on the whole Ladytron thing at Witching Hour, and that left a big impression on me. On the first listen the songs don't really seem all that interesting and you feel yourself wondering why they chose to make it so long (again!). 'Runaway' and 'Season of illusion' stood out but for much of the latter half I simply switched off, and on one occasion, fell asleep. For almost a week after that I didn't feel the urge to listen to it again but recently I gave it another chance, and it has been slowly working it's way under my skin ever since. Seriously, this is a very good album. It's not astounding, but then when I think about it Witching Hour is hardly flawless either (being arguably a track or two, too long). It lacks anything soft and affecting like Beauty*2 as well which means that the whole experience of the album is very oppressive indeed. But what this album does have is BIG gothic-synth anthems - really good one's too like 'Burning Up', 'They gave You A Heart, They Gave You A Name' (probably the best track), 'Lovers', 'Deep Blue'. I think the album was intended to be the equivalent of a blunt instrument hammering into the psyche and frankly, I prefer Ladytron when they do that.

I can see a lot of my friends who enjoy their EBM liking some of this too. So on reflection, I think if you like Depeche Mode at their stadium stomping best, then you may very well like the direction Ladytron are taking. It's not subtle and there are other interesting avenues to take in Electronic Pop of course, but perhaps for those of us who occasionally like a bit of black nail varnish with our night out, there's something to stamp our feet to here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars utterly addictive, 19 July 2008
This review is from: Velocifero (Audio CD)
I can't understand how I'd never heard of this group until last week. I saw them as the support act for Interpol at Manchester Apollo and only caught the last three songs, but they were enough for me to buy Witching Hour on the basis of the reviews here. Witching Hour is sublime in itself and Velocifero is easily it's equal. As the other reviewers have mentioned the latter is more industrial, darker and in some places brooding. It's hard not to draw comparisons with Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Orchestral Manoevures in the Dark, and even The Sisters of Mercy here but Ladytron do have their own distinctive sound. There are numerous stand out tracks ie Black Cat, Ghosts, I'm Not Scared, Little Runaway, Lovers, Versus, Deep Blue but even the less immediately appealing songs become addictive after 2-3 listens. Five stars without a doubt and I'm now moving onto 604 and Light and Magic. Apparently Ladytron are appearing at an open-air all-day picnic type electro-fest called the Magic Loungeabout at the end of August near York. See you there....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladytron- Absolute brilliance!, 29 Dec. 2008
By 
S. Innes "Pottersby" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Velocifero (MP3 Download)
Not so much a review as an exclamation of total joy. An outstandingly brilliant album. If you have heard them before you will love it, if its the first time you have come accross them then buy this album. Outstanding. My best album of '08.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing, 28 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Velocifero (Audio CD)
I have little to say other than I love this album most of the 3 of theirs I own. I wish bands like this got more recognition, it makes one sad. Comparable to the likes of Goldfrapp, only significantly better in a lot of ways (however much I like Goldfrapp). Don't even think about purchasing it, just do it!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ladytron- Velocifero LP Review (7/10), 9 May 2008
This review is from: Velocifero (Audio CD)
This latest and fourth album is yet another progression in the ever evolving sound of Ladytron, and is easily their best work to date. With a more friendly and accessible sound, Velocifero may help to keep the band from the slowdive into niche. The album also boasts production assistance from Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails), which may help shed some light on the rougher feel of this album.

If you haven't yet had an introduction to the Ladytron phenomenon, you won't necessarily go wrong starting with the newest album. But to truly appreciate the versatility of the band's work, starting at the beginning with 2001's 604, and then working your way through the equally worthy Light & Magic and Witching Hour will create the more satisfying experience.

Those who were turned off by the earlier soft-around-the-edges approach might just find themselves warming to the sounds of the aptly titled Velocifero ("bringer of speed"), which backs it's pop credibility with an omnipresent rock aesthetic. This effort sees the band radiating more energy and attitude that on previous future-hip ventures, although the sterile beats and arid vocals are still there to give that spacey, ethereal quality.

"Predict The Day" sounds to have taken it's inspiration from Frida's (of ABBA fame) "I Know There's Something Going On". At first glance, "Kletva", which is a cover from an older Bulgarian children's movie, seems to faithfully return to a familiar Ladytron sound, but tosses a welcome curveball toward the end. Both "Kletva" and "Black Car" are sung in Bulgarian. "Ghosts", the first single taken from the album, has an even pulse and unexpected flourishes that's sure to be a hit. However, it's the coldly repetitive "Runaway" that stands out from the pack and is sure to be Velocifero's dark horse.

The album isn't due to release until June, but you can stream it right now on Ladytron's Myspace. It will only be available to listen for a short time, so head over there and test the waters before placing your pre-orders. (Angie Pardue)
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5.0 out of 5 stars The 'bringer of speed' takes you to perfection, 23 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Velocifero (Audio CD)
Velocifero is Ladytron's fourth album and it continues to baffle me as to why they're not regular chart fixtures as they have the songwriting talent, the determination and the ability to be massive.

As someone who has followed them since their stunning debut 604, I've no idea why their work isn't being snapped up all over the place but then the public are strange folk! It should be noted that Velocifero was released on Nettwerk, the third record company they've recorded for: the indie Emporer Norton/Invicta Hi-Fi (which released 604 and its sequel Light & Magic) closed and they were then snapped up by Island with which 2005's heavier Witching Hour saw the light of day. Unfortunately no hit singles were forthcoming and Ladytron were dropped but could it be that they've now been signed to a label which understands their music and can take them where they need to go? Let's hope so.

There isn't a weak song on this album. From the solid opener Black Cat with Mira's atmospheric Bulgarian vocal and lead single Ghosts, we move onto the the sublime pop of I'm Not Scared (not the Eighth Wonder/Pet Shop Boys song) and Runaway which are perfect examples of the band's songwriting talents. Either of these songs could be a strong second or third single
but there's several other contenders too.

Concluding with the excellent Tomorrow and the mesmeric Versus, Ladytron have produced that most difficult of achievements: they've topped what they did on Witching Hour which was regarded as their finest work to date three years ago. Along with Goldfrapp's Seventh Tree, 2008 has seen some brilliant albums from the UK's leading synth-based acts so far...and it's only half over!

Whether Velocifero takes Ladytron onto commercial success is unknown at present but I very much hope so.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally sweet album ladytron., 19 April 2008
By 
Mr. Mark S. Little (Northingerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Velocifero (Audio CD)
When you first listen to this album, it plays like a collection of singles. Well, by this i mean there are no "album tracks" or downbeat sections or anything like that which you find on ladytrons previous albums. I'm really impressed with the sound they've developed and you can see the progression from their first two albums through witching hour to this record.
The production is very good on this album and the musicality and originality is actually awesome. The opening track Black Cat does seem a little complicated and over-produced; it 's still great though. The track "Ghosts" has a bit of depeche mode about it in my opinion, but it's not one of my favourites to be honest... My real favourites are kletva, predict the day and deep blue. The last track of the album is the most atypical of ladytron I think, ignoring a certain structure the other tracks share and also giving us the opportunity of hear the boys sing. Which is cool.
Love this record, got it pre-ordered, you probably should too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whistling In The Dark, 6 Aug. 2008
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Velocifero (Audio CD)
Have you noticed, when walking along a busy street, how many
more obstacles to a safe passage exist than did so (for those
of you who can remember) twenty years ago ?!

Humans have all but ceased to look OUT into the world.

With attention focussed on mobile phones and portable personal
music systems the pavements of London have become evermore
dangerous for a fellow, like myself, with four paws and a tail.

...and as for stainless steel mini-scooters - just don't get me started !

All of which may or may not heve any connection to the following
thoughts about Ladytron's most recent release 'Velocifero'.

The formula is an appealing one, if a little relentless at times.

Thirteen dense, rhythmically four-square, electropop anthems.

Despite, or perhaps inspite of, the lack of dynamic variation
evident in this set, it is left to its' not inconsiderable
melodic strengths to win through and save the day.

'Black Cat' is a worthy opener.
Mr Cortini's production skill brings a dark, hard edge to the
proceedings and Ms Aroyo deports herself splendidly in her
native Bulgarian with mysterious aplomb.

The confident stomping approach continues through ' Ghosts',
'I'm Not Scared' and 'Runaway' with little sign of fatigue.

'Season of Illusion' seduces us with it's slower introduction
and spookily shifting chordal progression before settling down
into another grinding groove.

'Burning Up' crackles along with the spirit of Mr Oakey and friends
dancing wildly in the wings.

'Kletva' mystifies with its elusive melody and impenetrable
(unless you happen to be Bulgarian) lyrical content.
What a strange and wonderful language to have at one's musical disposal.

'They Gave You A Heart, They Gave You A Name' brings the B52's to mind
for some strange reason but the feeling may pass.

'Predict The Day' must take the prize as The Wolf's favorite track.
The gentle and largely forgotten art of whistling is resurrected here
to stunning effect.

'The Lovers' thrashing progress and rather
irritating melody doesn't convince.

'Deep Blue' and 'Tomorrow' are both dancefloor worthies.

'Versus' is a somewhat anticlimatic ending. It's quasi-cinematic
theme only just saved from oblivion by a bit more B-Movie
whistling at the end.

All in all a bit of a mixed bag but worth the investment.

Recommended.
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Velocifero
Velocifero by Ladytron (Audio CD - 2008)
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