Ladytron – Gravity The Seducer

January 01, 1970

(Nettwerk)

 

www.nettwerk.com

 

Just mere months after their Best of 00-10 retrospective was
released, Ladytron is back with Gravity The
Seducer
, an album that shifts into a more ethereal direction for the band.
If Best of 00-10 was a time capsule
that marked the end of an era, Gravity The
Seducer
is the portal that warps you to a pivotal and lush new beginning
for the quartet. Throughout their career, Ladytron has been synonymous with electroclash,
mostly known for dark throbbing beats and electro-disco anthems. Yet, as they
evolved, scattered throughout their catalog and mostly fine tuned in their last
two efforts (Witching Hour and Velocifero), there were moments of surreal
beauty and hints of a more gorgeous, haunting and melodic side of Ladytron
noted in such songs as “Soft Power,” “All The Way,” “Deep Blue,” and “Versus.”
Well, Gravity The Seducer sort of
mashes up all of those songs, triples the layers of synths, and takes a more cinematic,
almost soundtrack-like approach and the result is gorgeous, breathtaking, and
near perfect. Without a doubt, this is Ladytron’s most ambitious and well
thought out album to date.

 

“White Elephant” gets the album
off to a soothing start and sets the tone and mood for the entire album. Never
before has a Ladytron album opener been so gentle and warm. The strings and
harpsichord combined with Helen Marnie’s angelic vocals are simply dreamy.
“Mirage” is one of the few tracks that channels Witching Hour (think of a song like “Weekend”) and combines it with
more ethereal and atmospheric elements and it just soars. By the time you reach
“Ritual,” a hypnotic, upbeat instrumental number with choral backing vocals,
you start to feel that this is the band’s ultimate soundtrack for a yet unmade
dream project. At times, you also can’t help but draw comparisons to Giorgio
Moroder or Tangerine Dream—it’s awesome. “Altitude Blues” is like a dreamier
and more mesmerizing cousin to “Deep Blue” from Velocifero complete with Mira Aroyo’s hypnotic spoken vocals. It’s
surely another album highlight fans will dig. But by far the biggest revelation
and cream of the crop is “90 Degrees,” hands down the most beautiful song
Ladytron has ever written and perhaps the best vocal performance by Marnie thus
far. Like its title, the song just radiates. The album comes to an end and
sails off into the sunset with “Aces High,” a short and sweet instrumental
version of “Ace of Hz” that almost acts like the ending credits music if Gravity The Seducer were a movie.

 

Is it their best work? It’s
hard to say. If Witching Hour was the
finest apple the band ever produced, this is their finest orange. But as a
whole, it probably is their best and most well-rounded record. In recent times,
we’ve seen Trent Reznor win an Academy Ward for Best Original Score and Daft
Punk receive high critical praise for their Tron:
Legacy
soundtrack—you can’t help but wonder if that was also another
inspiration for Ladytron. Someone hire them to do a movie score now. It will be
interesting to see how fans from the electroclash age of the band embrace this
new journey. This is definitely no trip to the disco, but a moody, elegant and
atmospheric cinematic experience is also paradise and that’s what this album sets
out to do. It’s an engaging new direction for Ladytron. Their metamorphosis from
album to album and evolution as musicians has always been interesting and we
can’t wait to see what they do next.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Mirage,”
“Ritual,” “Ace of Hz,” “Altitude Blues,” “90 Degrees,” “Melting Ice,”
“Ambulances” GIL MACIAS

 

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