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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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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.

0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 June 2008
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 'Velocifero'.

The one big problem with this album is the overall sound. It is a dire. The band have produced themselves before [well, Daniel Hunt] so they should be more than competent. It seems that the mix is the problem - it is dull, flat, lifeless. I've got a good system and it still sounds poor. Or the initial production was so bad, that the mix was [as known in the trade] as a 'salvage job'. I can't believe all the members of the band are happy with this. It might sound great in a club, but on a normal system it sounds lifeless.

This is such a shame as the songs are good and deserve better treatment. But Ladytron have started to border on self parody and hanging about with Nine Inch Nails and generally spending too much time in the US is clouding, rather the opening their ears. I didn't want a repeat of 'Witching Hour' - I was hoping for something even better, but it is not to be - for now. A missed opportunity for a very talented band.

Can anyone give them Martin Rushent's phone number? That would be epic!
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on 23 June 2008
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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on 29 December 2008
Newcomers to Ladytron's superb and stubbornly retro electro-rock material will be pleased with this release but long-timers may feel a little let-down by it. Velocifero seems to be to Witching Hour what Light and Magic was to 604; a fairly lightweight follow-up. A bit of an indictment perhaps but a frustrated one too because there are some excellent tunes here let down by some poor arrangement. It was perhaps a bit much to expect something as good as Witching Hour but rather than offering the subtelty and illusion contained in it we get an almost non-stop, headlong, driven offering that shows little variation between much of the tracks. The production is top class and taken as inidividual works each track stands up well but when the whole thing is run together the paucity of texture and variation shows up. If ever there was an album begging for a remix it's this one. I have no doubt the band will come good again but they need to look very carefully and critically at what they've put together here.
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on 21 July 2008
While I love this new album, it has some problems. Firstly the production is a bit rougher than expected, with the vocals inaudible in places. Secondly, it is not as good as the previous album, 'Witching Hour' (their 3rd album and my favourite offering from this band). Let me put this in context though: 'Velocifero' is a bunch of 9/10 songs with no filler. 'Witching Hour' is a bunch of 10/10 songs with a bit of filler. And lastly, and perhaps worst of all, there are no "classic Ladytron" songs here. This doesn't sound like Ladytron any more, it's something else. Something great, sure, really really great in fact; but not the utterly super-cool, super-great Ladytron I was expecting. Almost sounds like a different band! Still, this is a 5-star album, no question; it's just not the natural progression I expected. 'Witching Hour' and the second half of '604' remain the band's high points for me.
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on 1 June 2009
Wow! what a great album. One of those CDs you enjoy more each time you run through it. This type of sound has been done before and the fact it always bounces back is testament to this formula. Ladytron are just the latest artists to sound this way and what an outstanding set of sounds they have come up with. Will definately keep an ear open for them from now on.
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on 2 March 2010
Beneath Velocifero's molded plastic facade, this album is ingenious, slyly tuneful New Wave, with buzzing synth melodies chattering at each other like packet switchers. This is of course computer-based music, but like a Towers of Asia or Neon Indian record, there is something pleasingly human about it.
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on 12 April 2008
This is not only their best album yet,( even better than the towering Witching Hour), it is simply one of the greatest records ever!
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on 14 April 2008
It's a decent album, but creatively it doesn't venture out of their own safe template of luscious swathes of synth with a breathy female vocal floating over the top.

One of the best albums ever? Are you 'avin' a laugh?
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on 14 September 2008
Improving on an outstanding album is something most bands fail to achieve - and Ladytron are one of them. No shame in that - most bands have a finest hour and Witching Hour will probably be Ladytron's. This is, nonetheless, a fine collection of quality electro pop, although a slightly murky production means that some tracks don't shine as brightly as they could.

A minor disappointment then, but still one of the year's best and a very worthwhile purchase.
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