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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 February 2009
My initial impressions of Ladyhawke was a manufactured bandwagon jumper, with a few hit singles propping up an album of dodgy 80's influenced pop songs. Whereas this is an album firmly influenced by 80's synth pop, it certainly isn't dodgy.

This album has probably surprised me a lot more than any other I bought in 2008. A friend recommended I buy it after I told him that I enjoyed Robyn's album and that I wasn't offended by pop music. How right he was!

The weaker songs on this album are mainly noticeable due to the sheer hook-laden quality of the others. Manipulating Woman, My Delirium, Back of the Van and Crazy World, alongside the singles Paris is Burning and Disk Till Dawn are brilliantly catchy electro pop songs. Ladyhawke's voice is not the most distinctive, however it works well through the album's perfect melodies and on top of excellent production by a number of different producers.

It's not often that something this good comes out of New Zealand that you can't eat, so I implore you to give it a listen. If you're enjoying the 80's revival and fondly remember Madonna (before she got veiny), Robin Beck, Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper, etc. then you'll like this even more.
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We banged on Ladyhawke's - Pip Brown's - van window after her gig at Kerrang! radio Birmingham. She opened the door, chatted about New Zealand, her musical influences, and what it was like playing with an acoustic band (which she'd just done) compared to the album and to her electric band. What an amazingly nice lady! It must be the New Zealand background.

Anyway, this is an album that keeps suggesting a particular '80s influence to you at the beginning of a track, and then going off somewhere completely different. Crazy World, for example, always makes me think Cyndi Lauper is about to kick in, but only for a moment, while Professional Suicide makes me think straight away of Soft Cell. Once you get into the songs, though, more than anything, it reminds me of Suzanne Vega's 99.9 F° industrial album, especially on Paris is Burning. Ladyhawke brings a particular intensity to the music by playing all the instruments herself.

What's especially interesting to me is that although the tracks on this album sound very much like the synth-pop of the 80s, especially Morning Dreams and Better Than Sunday, the influences she told me about at the van were all rock: David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, ELO, among others. Live, with an acoustic band, you can really hear that. "You should do an album with that band" I said. "Yeah", she replied, "maybe I should." I hope she does. She strikes me as someone who will really blossom in the creative tension of a recording band, which will take her away from the occasionally over-rhythmic drum-machine sound.

Anyway, this is a superb album, and one that's worth owning just to be able to say 'I was there at the beginning'. Ladyhawke is certain to go on to bigger and better things. Don't get me wrong -- this one is good. But the next one is going to explode with more.
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on 22 March 2009
I bought the album on the premise of the fine underrated songs My Delirium and Paris is Burning and I wasn't disappointed, this is coming from somebody who has prefered the likes of Muse, Kaiser Chiefs, Green Day, Franz Ferdinand over the past half decade.

The stand out songs on her Eponymous album are Magic that has one hell of a powerful Synth riff and Michael Hutchence style delivery, My Delirum with it's memorable chrous, Paris is Burning with an fine bass hooks that meet Bananarama Synth, Professonal Suicide with a cheeky dig at reforming groups with synth's that Gary Numan would have been proud to produce and Crazy World that has The Bangle's meeting 80's Fleetwood Mac.

The influences here are from Cyndi Lauper, 80's Fleetwood Mac, Kim Wilde, INXS and Bruce Springsteen to synth sounds that are familiar with Gary Numan and Val Halen during the 1980's and cult brat-pack film's of that time.

The presence of synth and guitar in every track makes for an ideal crossover for rock lovers and pop passionista's as 'Pip' Brown's delivery is spot on with an ode to Stevie Nicks, Kim Wilde, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Hutchence.

5 Stars for a flashback to 80's youth with a modern twist that would grace the soundtrack to the Brat-Pack Movies perfectly. Ladyhawke is going places.
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Better late than never I suppose.

Ms Brown's eponymous debut is an album that I stumbled upon more by
accident than design and am consequently very glad to have done so.

Much has already been made of her
influences in these pages and elsewhere.
I have nothing to add or subtract.
Frankly with pop music this good it is an irrelevance.

This collection of 13 fine songs has enough catchy
hooks to see us through at least three summers.

Top down music for the open road.

Ms Brown's voice is not the most subtle of instruments but,
making the most of her strengths (ie : a fine pair of lungs),
it adorns the material more than adequately.

"Magic" kicks off proceedings with a vibrant synth-led arrangement.
A strong, anthemic, opening statement pointing to what lays ahead.

"My Delirium" is a real stormer with a chorus to die for.

"Back Of The Van" another ecstatic pop gem.

"Professional Suicide" displays a slightly darker sound palette.
The dense and elusive chord progressions are very canny.

"Dusk Till Dawn" and "Oh My" are together the album's highpoints.
Two completely satisfying slices of uplifting melodic mayhem.

"Morning Dreams" concludes the project in a quaintly old-fashioned way.

New Zealand can be justly proud of her talented daughter.

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on 13 February 2009
I heard Ladyhawke on radio one.For a long time R1 was specialising in bilge but recently some good new mainstream acts are coming up.It's always good to hear something you honestly like alongside sad sack efforts by various nasty x factor style pop bandits.
The funny thing is in the 80's wasn't such a fan of the pop of the day,at least not on the surface,I was more of electropop-goth-industrial-rock fan and still am I guess.
But nowadays I'm finding a lot to love with some of the 80's tinged pop that seems to be surfacing.Having Phil Collins as an influence is no problem.Amongst the ladies,Ladyhwake,Lady Ga Ga and Ladytron are all cutting the mustard with style and tunes.
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on 5 December 2011
I first heard this album by accident to be honest- I'd initially dismissed Ladyhawke as an artist tailor made soley for female undergraduate listening i.e. one that would fit comfortably in between repeat plays of All About Eve and Florence and the Machine, but pleasantly, I was wrong.

This is very accomplished guitar driven pop, backed up with syths 80s style, and despite the other comparisons, I think she is most of all in the Benatar school of clever, hook ladened rock-pop. When at it's best the driving guitars win over the synths at nearly every opportunity and those hooks...somehow she has jammed into this one album as many as some of her contemporaries will struggle to achieve in a whole career.

Good, solid stuff then that keeps the consistency up for at least two-thirds of the album, but as with the case too often these days, there are too many tracks crammed on and the drive drops off a little in the album's last third in my humble opinion. And also contrary to what some people say- including the promo blurb- the weakest track to my mind is Paris Is Burning, which slips too far into a Bananarama-esque, multi-vocal layered morass of bubblegum pop for my liking, which betrays the drive of what came before. I couldn't help thinking it should have been dropped at the editing stage, and left for inclusion in some rareties package later in her career [like a couple of other tracks towards the end to be honest].

Whatever, if she can keep up the quality this album on the whole promises, she is going to have some career. What a pleasant surprise. Isn't it nice to be sometimes proven wrong :)
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on 22 February 2009
I bought this album on the back of a track (My delirium) I heard on the radio and I haven't been disappointed. The whole album is a joy from start to finish,- great hooks and infectious melodies. This album is a must for anyone with a fondness for eighties synth pop but Pip Brown (aka Ladyhawke) manages to give the songs a comtemporary twist. In conclusion, this is a feel-good corker best listened to in the car. You won't be disappointed.
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on 15 March 2009
This album in my opinion has everything, a funk 80's sound in some of the tracks, which i love.

I recently discovered LadyHawke by watching an advert advertising her album and i never looked back. This is such an unbeliveably fantastic album with the songs; Dusk Til Dawn, Crazy World and Morning Dreams being my favourite songs.

Seriously, if you have any doubts about this album, don't! Buy it now.
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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2011
This is a very electronic sounding album but with some guitar oomph. I'm not a Gary Newman fan but the sound's not a million miles away it but is far far more human and sophisticated.

What I really like is the songs have a pop feel with a great drive from the bass or guitar but the songs stop getting to light by her understated, calm and sad voice. This contrast means the whole album is a great pleasure to listen to, and, perhaps oddly given the sad undertone, I often put it on to cheer myself up.

The standard across the album is excellent with perhaps Morning Dreams being the worst but even that's not pants. Magic, My Delirium and Back of the Van are fantastic. A great mood album to immerse yourself in.
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on 23 May 2009
I have been a fan of Ladyhawke since her debut release "Back of the Van", which was released when nobody knew her. Because she's given us this great album i think it's time that i review her album (after getting the album 8 months ago).

Magic 8.5/10-This song eases you into Ladyhawke's trance of hypnotic music and shows you her full 80s influences.
Manipulating Woman 8/10-This song is very indie rock but is not one of my favs as it does not stand out.
My Delirium 10/10-The highlight of the album, the song shows a different side to the Hawke. It's quite slow and fast in places, which makes you wanna dance. It is one of the big 5 on the album.
Better Than Sunday 9/10-This song is very nice and electronic but blends into the background and pushed to the side when the big 5 come on.
Another Runaway 9/10-another great peice of electronic masterpeice but also belnds into the background and pushed to the side for the big 5.
Love Don't Live Here 9/10-Same as the last two its a great electronic song but blends into the background and pushed to the side for the big 5.
Back of the Van 10/10-The second member off the big 5, this is probably Ladyhawke's best because it's very hipnotic and 80s inspired.
Paris Is Burning 10/10-The third big 5, very good and great indie rock.
Professional Suicide 9.5/10-The song is fantastic accompained with clever lyrics, this song is hard to forget.
Dusk Till Dawn 10/10-The fourth big 5, even though this isnt the best song on the album it is the most unforgettable and stands out with her indie rock portrail off a lonley night.
Oh My 9.5/10-An unforgettable dance song by Ladyhawke with a great chorus of "Oh My, Oh My" and many other catchy lyrics.
Crazy World 10/10-The last off the big 5, not necaceraly the best but like Dusk Till Dawn is completly unforgettable and is a slow dancable song.
Morning Dreams 9/10-A great slow song which shows off Ladyhawke's great vocals but is quite forgettable.
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