Ladytron - Best Of 00 - 10

A gorgeously crafted collection.

To put on a Ladytron album is to be transported to a creepingly sinister futuristic world where everything is chrome, streamlined and ergonomically sculpted, running smoothly to their metronomically precise soundtrack. Ladytron have long been creators of a shiny brand of electronica belonging in a parallel world of sparkling precision, with never a beat out of place nor a synth stab wasted. It’s refined electro pop at its peak and it’s nothing but a pure joy to have the best of their consistently sharp work from the past decade collected together in this one dazzlingly bright, gorgeously crafted collection.

Opening pair ‘Destroy Everything You Touch’ and ‘International Dateline’ swish along in all their electro finery, displaying instant danceability combined with brittle beauty. In fact, a huge part of Ladytron’s appeal is encapsulated in this very ability; although they are quite obviously achingly cool, they can’t stop themselves from creating warm, hugely danceable tracks. Highlight of an album of consistent standout tracks is ‘Discotraxx’ (from their stunning 2001 debut album ‘604’) with its delirious clash of frantic synth undercurrents and ice cold Eastern European vocals. It’s at once powerful and vulnerable, like all the best musical ideas, firing off in all directions and never satisfied by settling in one place for too long.

Just to remind you that they are far from an electro flash in the pan, the band shake things up with ‘Tomorrow’, a deliciously majestic track from their most recent album, 2008’s ‘Velocifero’, as equally hypnotic as any of their earlier tracks. From the same, most recent album ‘Ghosts’ is also included here, prowling around with a swaggering rhythm and rock-tinged guitar riff. Even the less obvious feelgood tracks such as the menacing ‘Fighting In Built Up Areas’ have a compelling, eerie melancholy. It might not be the most accessible track, but it will surely stick in your mind like the remnants of a darkly dangerous nightmare. Their eclectic back catalogue is a testament to their refusal to be pigeoholed which is doubtlessly why they’ve been able to stick around for so long.

They’ve even managed to sneak in a brand new track ‘Ace Of Hz’ right at the end, a sneak preview of what we can expect from their forthcoming fifth studio album. It hints at a shift away from the grittier, industrial sounds of last album ‘Velocifero’, instead allowing a more delicate, shimmering melody to emerge. It’s another twist in direction for Ladytron, and yet another way to let them weave their magic around you.

Entering Ladytron’s world is to immerse yourself into an ice cold universe with a strange flaming heart right at its centre. You’d swear it’s a physical impossibility but yet it’s revealed to you in all its surreal wonder before your very eyes. Before you have time to realise what’s happening, they’ve already worked their curious spell on you and you’re utterly bewitched all over again.

Tags: Ladytron, Reviews, Album Reviews

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