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4.2 out of 5 stars
17
4.2 out of 5 stars
Light And Magic
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 4 September 2017
Excellent!
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on 26 November 2002
Having just read the duff first review of this fantastic second album CD release from Ladytron I felt compelled to write something.
I dont know if the first reviewer actually listened to this album because, apart from NuHorizons (and - OK - True Mathematics is not too hot but luckily it only lasts a couple of minutes and is a sort of "Intro" anyway) this album is qute simply superb.
Its a whole lot slicker than their last release 604 and none the worse for it. It hangs together as a cohesive album of tracks,unlike 604 which seemed more like a (slightly too long) compilation of work although certainly having its great moments. Standout tracks are Seventeen, Turn It On, Light & Magic, Blue Jeans, Cease2Exist, Fire....I could go on,this album is VERY consistent.
Ladytron really deserve a wider audience. This is one of those albums that sounds as if they spent a lot of time on the songwriting and it's worked. This, currently is the best Retro-Futurist CD around.
Resistance is futile........
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on 14 January 2003
I first heard Ladytron two years ago when I saw their video for the single "Play Girl", from their amazing 604 album. Since then I have been besotted and getting my hands on this album in September 2002 was the best thing I did all year.
I was interested how Ladytron could follow up such a magnificent debut album, they had laid down their style and it's hard to see how they were going to develop. Ladytrons' answer was simple: More of the same but with even more addictive tunes.
The opening track from Light and Magic; "True Mathematics" is an infectious fuzz electronic bass/pop synth/electro-guitar hook which leads you into this album with hypnotic effect.
The first single "seventeen" follows majestically at track 2, and is quite simply a perfect slice of electro-pop with stunning melodies, poignent sultry vocals and sparse bleak solos. Capturing perfect melodies is a Ladytron trait and this song is one of many high points on this superb "tricky" second album.
"Flicking Your Switch" is in a similar melodic vein but is more power pop and could potentially be a club classic should anyone decide to pluck it from the album and re-mix it. It sounds like a lost early 90's rave track produced by Kraftwerk.
Other notable tracks are "Turn It On" (power bass, sweeping keyboard hook, robotic vocals), "Black Plastic" (80's bassline combining to a creschendo with superply layered keyboard components and lazy vocals) and the trademark off-note, anthemic, power simplicity of "Cease To Exist".
Overall the album is a triumph, all the tracks have a certain edge over any electronica album you may have heard in the last ten years. What I love about this band, and more noteably on this album is the cold, icy feel of the chosen sounds. Ladytron have the amazing ability of producing excitingly layered pop melodies whilst creating a vast sense of sparcity and isolation. This album is infectious and Ladytron have surely redrawn the boundaries and set a new precedent for electronic pop music. Although you may feel that you are familiar to every track on this album, you will go back to this album time and time again with a satisfied sensation that you have never heard anything like it before. It could well be the only album you ever want to hear.
P.W.
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on 1 July 2003
Could 604 as a debut album be topped? Yes and no. 604 was one
of 90s electronic music's defining moments and has the measure of true greatness. I first started hearing about the 'Tron on
newsgroups about the spring of 2001 and was instantly captivated.
Long after the pretenders like Felix and Fischerspooner have died a dismal death, the 'Tron will be writing magical stuff because they have the charm, wit and talent to do it. Their music is Gestalt: more than the sum of its parts. I bought Light & Magic on import in April 2002 from this very site and it just gets better. I've also seen them live twice and that's something else.
Light & Magic goes a long way to equalling 604's perfection. True Mathematics kicks us off with a strangely-compelling repeating synth hook, warping as it does into scratchy guitar samples and Mira's seductive Bulgarian voice-over. No, I've no idea what she's saying either but it works a treat!
Then it's on to the album's first single Seventeen which draws
you in as Helen whispers the enigmatic lyric. From here on,
the album opens out, highlights being the NY electro of Flicking
Your Switch to the Detroit Techno! influenced Turn It On.
There's so much depth and variety here; Blue Jeans (re-recorded
as the second single) boasts a perfect arrangement, Cracked LCD
boasts some fine Peter Hook-style bass playing and Evil which is as good as modern pop gets. The album is stuffed full of winners.
Even the final track The Reason Why leaves you feeling they have
a unique ability. Dance music may promise much but its production overkill and melodic drought ultimately can't deliver
the goods. Ladytron could be huge. I hope so.
Al
1.7.03
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on 10 February 2003
Unfortunately for Ladytron they seem to have been lumped into the style over substance club scence of elektroklash/synthcore. However, unlike musical poseurs such as Miss Kittin, Felix Da Housecat and Fischerspooner, Ladytron actually have musical ability and talent, that is more pop/rock based than dance/club influenced.
Whilst their retro synths and European ice cool vocals do come from an age when Human League were biggest band in the country and Blade Runner was the film to see, there's enough of a 21st Centrury influence to make this strangely appealing and satisfying, in a dark and trashy way.
Musically they have come on leaps and bounds since their debut '604', with the songs sounding more developed and fully realised. Of course, you do wonder where they can move on to after this, but it wouldn't surprise me if they followed the same kind of career path as former Synth Gods Depeche Mode and New Order, and add more rockier elements to their sound in the future.
But for now, "Light and Magic" is an entertaining and seductive piece of electropop in 2003. If so called credible bands can rip off grunge and punk at the moment, why shouldn't Ladytron recreate the electro era of the early eighties?
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on 25 October 2004
Another vote here for the erasure of the Amazon review for this album. It's way out of order. Light and Magic could only be Ladytron. Although slightly more polished than 604, the two could almost form a double album they dovetail so perfectly. In fact, they are so well matched that at times while listening to L&M I somehow expect the next track to be Another Breakfast With You or somesuch from 604. Not that this is repetition by any means. Its just another set of worthy, really great tunes. If you liked 604 then L&M will not disappoint.
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on 25 February 2003
Mmmmm Ladytron! Remembering those halcyon days of Playgirl (one of the greatest tunes EVER) is enough to bring a tear to my eye, and so finally seeing Light & Magic in my local music shop made me forget how skint I was and I just went ahead and bought it! To be fair I'd been waiting for it to make an appearance for a while now, after hearing Seventeen on MTV2 all those months back.
Ladytron just have something about them that makes them sickeningly cool and fashionable. Their music could be lumped together with 'All those other ElectroClash groups' but their creativity and substance actually manages to balance with their 'style'.
The fact that Seventeen is one of the weaker tracks is testament to their depth and musical ability. True Mathematics is tremendous, NuHorizons is dark and brooding, Cease2xist keeps reminding me of LRD's Hypnotise (fantastic!), Re:agents is like "Stand Be Me" (oh darling darling) for the twentyfirst century!
The vocals and sheer English accent is a joy to behold, the drums are rich and fulfilling throughout and as an overall package this album is certainly up there as one of THE top Electronica creations of recent years!
So as I said before, not mindblowing, but INCREDIBLY good! Go out buy it and feel cool walking down the street with Ladytron playing in your headphones! It beats the same old cynical trance cash-ins!
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on 9 December 2002
I don't know about Ladytron being the new thing, regarding all this electroclash malarky- haven't they been around several years already? Anyway, Light&Magic appears to have received top critical reaction & a hint of commercial interest with the single Seventeen (sexy blend of uniforms in video and Kraftwerk/Suicide/New Order approach to subject matter of Gentlemen Take Polaroids/Girls on Film). The other 14 tracks are as good quality- taking the 1980's influences, blending them with AFX/Autechre/Sheep on Drugs/Polygon Window style and moving towards the future- this is an ideal album to play prior to going out- sonically it sounds like the kind of clubs you dream of (but only get in films like Christiane F and The Hunger). This is the sound of 2002 into 2003 and one of the albums of this year; explore...
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on 27 December 2002
I just got this CD for Christmas after hearning the track 'Seventeen' on MTV2 a few weeks back. It's a great record, and one that you really should be listening to. It's a cross between Jean Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk and Tangerine Dream. Very synth-electro-breaky-stuff. That's the best genre to stick it in if you must! No doubt about it, a 5 star release. I'm going to have to check out the back catalogue of Ladytron after hearing this then...
- Wizard Of Odd
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2004
Ladytron are four keyboard players/ composers based in Liverpool who formed in 1998, and comprise Mira Aroyo who is Bulgarian (one track, NuHorizons, is sung in her native tongue) and Helen Marnie, sharing vocal duties; Danny Hunt, responsible for programming and production; and co-founder Reuben Wu. 
It may be that a Ladytron is a make of North Korean tractor or an extinct form of winged insect, but I first came across the name as a song on the first Roxy Music album, and I suspect this band did too. They seem to have taken their inspiration not so much from the song or the sound, but from the concept of the name, at once robotic and oestrogenic. The result is twenty-first century electro-synth pop of a high order, as post-ironic cold and disembodied female voices chant against chugging Numanesque soundscapes; the missing link between Propaganda and Add N To (X). 
On this 17-track album, recorded in Liverpool and Los Angeles between 2001 and 2002, their are assisted by Michael Fitzpatrick (programming), Malibu (yet more keyboards) and Justin Meldal Johnson (electric bass).
Three of the catchiest songs have been released as singles (possibly in different versions) - Blue Jeans, Evil and Seventeen, though several others could just as well have been. Seventeen was no. 31 in the 2002 Festive Fifty, and turns up additionally as a guitar-laden remix by Soulwax on this CD. Another track, Cracked LCD, also featured on the CDS of Evil, while an earlier version of the instrumental USA Vs White Noise had appeared on their Mu-Tron EP in 2000
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