I picked this up after reading the gushy reviews here, since I've always loved the early 80s/new wave/synthpop sound, and I have to admit I'm a little disappointed with the result. Now don't get me wrong, some of this is great stuff. "Living In A Magazine" isn't just a great song, it's got the sound, it's got the lyrics, it's spot-on and could have fallen through a time warp from 20 years ago. "Information First" is rather good - in places it sounds like some long lost relic of the sessions for Dolby's "The Flat Earth". I won't even pick on the cover of "The Model" - in fact, I rather like it, it's a pleasantly different take on the song. However, as for the rest, I must be missing something - maybe I'm looking too hard for the 80s influences and missing the 2001 bits. Maybe I'm basing my impressions on too narrow a range of 80s artists. Alternatively, it's either too fake, or not fake enough. Ladytron appeals to me because there's something very knowing and contrived about their strong retro tendencies. At the other extreme, there's bands that ape the 80s in an honest, straightforward, even naive way - and strangely enough, they're mainly American, which is odd when the sound is very determinedly British. I'm thinking of bands like Barcelona, Lifestyle (and other Sean T. Drinkwater-related bands like Karacter and Freezepop), or the synthier moments from the late, lamented Pulsars. Thus the 3 stars - it's a nice album, but it's not entirely what I expected. When it's good, it's very very good, but the rest of the time, it's pretty forgettable.
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