More Witching Hours, New Day

Ladytron’s new album Velocifero, is still about two months away from a physical release, but for the more digital minded, the album has already arrived in leaked form in the past few days. Still in keeping with their more mainstream electronica sound, the album plays much like an addendum to Witching Hour. In itself, it’s a wonderful compliment to bestow upon the band. However, with many of its songs so similar in to songs already hidden within their discography, the album suffers from its frequently identical beats. As soon as “Ghosts” kicks in, it’s clear that the pattern has been recycled: driven synthesizers, isolated vocals, and the ominous overtones that permeated Witching Hour.

“Burning Up” and “The Lovers” for instance, might as well be wedged between “Weekend.” Then there’s “They Gave You A Heart, They Gave You A Name,” which plays like an updated version of their 604 album track “He Took Her To A Movie.”

But not everything feels as replicated. The New Wave-ish “Deep Blue” incorporates some darker vocals and a nearly orchestral array of electronic sound. “Predict The Day” is a wonderfully experimental warp of the Ladytron sound, featuring a strong stepping bass and a lot of sticky, urban beats. “Versus”, the album’s closer track, may be the album’s greatest moment, featuring male and female vocals, a whistling middle-8, and a soaring chorus that could be considered downright folk. It’s the closest thing to a departure for the album (next to “Predict the Day”), but considering the same-y sound trickling down the album tracks, it’s a real treat.

Velocifero is still a slightly more concentrated, sophisticated album than its predecessor. While Witching Hour had its share of standout moments (“Destroy Everything You Touch”, “The Last One Standing”), Velocifero serves as a more interwoven compilation of tracks—which could be taken as a compliment or a criticism. Simply speaking, the album is a success, though I cannot call it their finest moment. Their signature sound has been repeated, at times in a nearly identical fashion. That being said, there’s no harm in using what works. I’m still pleased with the outcome, but I do hope that the band takes greater leaps into the unknown next time.

Be sure to pre-order the album now to get the bonus “Ghosts” 7″ single included.

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DL: Ladytron – Ghosts
DL: Ladytron- The Lovers
DL: Ladytron – Predict The Day

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