Ladytron Velocifero Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

If there's any justice, Velocifero will catapult Ladytron out of their decade-long...

Michael Quinn 2008

Velocifero is the fourth album from four-piece electro-pop innovators Ladytron and their first since 2005's great leap forward, Witching Hour, and a change of label.

Picking up where they left off, the 13-track studio album sets out with customary disregard for categorisation by referencing as many genres, bands, percussive riffs, cheesey keyboard lines, airborne melodies and souped-up synths as they can. So many in fact that you'll want to play this on 'repeat' so that you can keep a running tally.

Even the choice of recording venue seems more than just coincidental. The Studio de la Grande Armée in Paris was where Duran Duran recorded their career-making Rio and other notables – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, INXS, Françoise Hardy and ABBA's Frida (the blonde one) among them – have all benefitted from its Gallic magic and charm. Factor in additional production credits here for Ed Banger Records' Vicarious Bliss and Nine Inch Nails keyboardist Alessandro Cortini and something special was bound to happen.

Velocifero gets under way with the delightfully dark wrap-around fuzz of Black Cat – Roxy Music out of Gary Numan driven along with Kraftwerk-like discipline and held together by Bulgarian vocals.

Lead single Ghosts carries itself with a jaunty Goldfrappian bounce but eschews glitter and cod glam to offer something altogether more rewarding. Runaway's infectious Pet Shop Boys-accented mantra is no less retro but staunchly refuses nostalgia and where Deep Blue rises to blissfully enraptured heights and Tomorrow coasts on the sweetest simplicity of execution, Predict The Day delivers a steadily mounting maelstrom of sound that boils over into a magnificently crafted messiness.

Ladytron have never made much of an impact on the UK charts. If there's any justice, Velocifero will catapult them out of their decade-long cult status into deserved commercial success.

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