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Double vinyl for the band's 2008 studio album. Ladytron are an Electronic Pop band originally based in Liverpool, England, although members originate from Sofia and Glasgow as well as Liverpool itself. The band has been active since 1999, releasing four full-length albums. Ladytron tour extensively around the world, both with live shows and DJ sets. Ladytron have produced remixes for many artists including Placebo, Blondie, Gang of Four, David Gahan, Goldfrapp, Bloc Party, Kings of Convenience, Indochine, Apoptygma Berzerk, She Wants Revenge, Soulwax, Nine Inch Nails and Simian.
- Ladytron Delivers Again
Before I got this album I decided to read several customer reviews to get an idea of what to expect. I noticed that many people said that this album was one of, if not the best CD that Ladytron has ever put out. After listening through the album several times I realized that this is hands down the best album that they have ever put together. From the first track (Black Cat) you are immediately pulled in and hooked. Nowadays too many artists put out albums that have many good tracks with several other mediocre tracks thrown in. Not the case with this album. From start to finish every track has a unique sound that is very different from anything that I heard on Witching Hour. I think that Ladytron finally has the chance to achieve mainstream success with this album. Mira's vocals in Bulgarian are haunting, sexy, and beautiful all at the same time. The deep synths and strong bass are everything that I love about Ladytron. They definitely don't fail to impress on Velocifero.
Top 5 Tracks:
1) Black Cat
4) Deep Blue
5) Ghosts...more info
- Put this in your car, you can listen to it for months
The best album of the year so far for me. A similar sound to their previous album, with more of the pop songs, less of the instrumental-type songs. I'd guess that if you liked "Evil" and "The way that you found me" from their previous albums you'll like this one. Check out "Deep blue" and "I'm not scared"....more info
- Another great Ladytron album
Ladytron seems to deliver every time. This matches up very well with their other albums. ...more info
- Heavier, Harder, A Great Step.
I've always been a fan of Ladytron but always wished they'd "heavy" things up a bit both musically and production wise. This album sees them step into that light. The same catchy hooks you'd expect but with a much louder, much heavier production. Personally, my favorite album so far. ...more info
- Icy-cool space-age synth rock! ****1/2
Imagine full-bodied, latter-day Depeche Mode (say, "It's No Good") only with vocals by sultry android-chicks, and you'll have a fair idea of what this album sounds like. Or, if that analogy doesn't work for you, try imagining mid-90's techno made by and for humans (instead of by and for machines), toss in a healthy dose of haunting goth, and mix it up in your new wave blender. Oh, and did I mention the vocals by sultry android-chicks? If you're a fan of the previous album "Witching Hour" (and you should be), then you'll find just as much to like with this one....more info
I heard the prerelease of Black Cat and I was hooked on this album. I could not wait for it to come out. While I was waiting I bought Wiching Hour which is also fabulous. I can listen to this record over and over, it never burns out. I am listening to it right now as I write this review. It is a wonderful combination of Gothic, Techno, Electro Pop, and a lushness that only Ladytron has. I highly recomend this album. It is going on my list of best records of 2008....more info
- Good Album, But Not The Best
I'm a big fan of Ladytron, but I don't feel that this album holds up to par with the previous albums, especially Witching Hour. Don't get me wrong, this is a good album, but there are only a few songs that really stand out....more info
- Favorite Band of 2009..Mira aroyo Rocks !
Not much to say here this is there most solid effort to date. Standouts " Black Cat, Season Of Illusion, Ghost, Predict the Day, Im not Scared, Runaway, The lovers, and Tomorrow. The Beats are sick and the presence and feel of the album is consistent. I saw these guys live and there is nothing like there presence. Compared to previous work this album is there most elaborate production even though I had extreme favorites off the others. None of there albums are lacking this one just has more lyrical content. And it just shows a more mature band musically and lyrically. Get this album along with MS KITTENS ..BatBOX and you wont be disappointed.
- Translates to "Bringer of Speed."
Let's examine the elements that make Velocifero one of 2008's most essential albums; densely layered electronic stanzas, haunting-yet-endearing vocals, infectious grooves and captivating hooks. While Ladytron's fourth album may be their most accessible to date, don't think that the Liverpool electronica outfit have dumbed down their sound for mainstream acceptance. All the attributes of the band's previous work is again utilized on Velocifero to great effect. The album is affluent with the group's patent analog synth programming, subtly tinged with distortion and embellished with a healthy amount of bass, and the 13 tracks therein are enlivened by tactful melodies without being overtly poppy. Vocalist Mira Aroyo again delivers Bulgarian lyrics in a sultry monotone while co-frontwoman Helen Marnie's girlish vocals are as enamoring as ever. Moreover, Velocifero is abundant with memorable elements like the new-wave keyboard arpeggio which electrifies Black Car, the groove-laden bassline of Ghosts and the sweeping, dramatic ascent of Runaway. Driven by mystery, melody, and danceable beats, Velocifero has "Electronic Album of the Year" written all over it in bold letters. ...more info
- I can't say that it's their best, but it's definitely my favorite.
Let me preface this review by saying that pre-Velocifero I considered myself just a casual Ladytron fan. 604, Light & Magic, and Witching Hour were decent albums to be sure, but they weren't albums I could see myself playing over other albums in my collection. *This is often a dilemma when one owns a lot of music.
In early May, my friends told me they were going to see Ladytron at the Henry Fonda in Hollywood and they wanted me to go. Once again, being just a casual Ladytron fan I wasn't too excited about the prospect of seeing them live. But then I found out that Datarock was in the line-up and that was all the motivation I needed.
At that time I had no idea that Ladytron was releasing a new album. Obviously, it makes sense that they would go on tour with the pending release of a new album, but I didn't put 1+1 together at the time. Consequently, I went to this concert with no knowledge of their new album. And looking back, that was a good thing.
I'm just going to lay it all out right here... Ladytron blew me away. Seriously, they were without a doubt one of the best live acts I've ever seen... and I've seen dozens of live Indie acts. Ladytron is a band one needs to see live to really understand and appreciate. They recreated every digital sound with a live instrument. And their theatrics, lighting, and showmanship were some of the best in the business.
Now, onto the album... Velocifero is by far my favorite Ladytron album. To me it's the perfect hybrid of Light & Magic and Witching Hour. It's that Ladytron album I've been waiting for. But since I saw most of the songs performed live before I heard the album, Velocifero has a special place in my heart. Even still, after seeing songs from 604, Light & Magic, and Witching Hour performed live, I now view those albums with the utmost respect. It's eerie the way that concert completely changed the way I hear Ladytron.
I mean, they are all the same albums, right? The difference is that now all of them are on regular rotation in my car and on my iPod. See you next time you're in LA, Ladytron!...more info
- Black Cat & Spooks
I can't begin to tell you how good this CD is. Ladytron is no lightweight, but raw and real, unlike majority of homogenized, over processed, over synthesized stuff out there. Cross vintage Depeche Mode with Shiny Toy Guns, big drums, and total originality, and you have this amazing synthesis of fresh sound infused with post-punk alchemy. The Bulgarian-sung lyrics of "Black Cat" are delicious. "Ghosts" (great f**k-you song) "There's a ghost in me who wants to say I'm sorry, doesn't mean I'm sorry." That's right. Get over it people. "Deep Blue" is better than anything by the Chemical Brothers. Why isn't this group better known? Ride the magic hard through the night with lightening flashing electricity. Enjoy. Who has to be good all the time? ...more info
- Not my favorite by Ladytron.
I like this album and I would never say anything against this band's talent and creativity as one of the few "pop" bands for mature music listeners. All of the Ladytron electroclash and new wave pop elements are here...but The previous album (The witching hour) was just so, so, so much better. All in all, I enjoy this recording (Velocifero) but it is only my third favorite album to date by Ladytron. ...more info
- Released to the Wild....
From their earliest moments, Ladytron was always a band that was so far left of the norm that any mainstream success seemed like a far-fetched fantasy. With thick synths, harsh vocals, and nothing that sounded even remotely ordinary, they eventually gained some sort of widespread recognition with cult hits like "Seventeen" and "Destroy Everything You Touch." Their most recent album, Witching Hour (2005), was a giant leap forward for both the band, and their unique style of electronic pop. Velocifero continues this trend with songs that are much easier to swallow without completely disowning their signature sound. Simply put, Velocifero is easily the most accomplished Ladytron album to date.
The album begins with could generally be considered the antithesis of my above statement. "Black Car," a song whose vocals are spoken in Bulgarian, doesn't immediately sound like the most listener-friendly of songs. But this bizarre opener is completely infecting with its compelling drum beat and layers of bell synths. While the lyrics are really the only thing worth complaining about, one can't really fault the group's artistic vision, as the song is still quite enthralling. On the other hand, "Ghosts," was seemingly hand-crafted to be Velocifero's first single. Like "Destroy Everything You Touch" before it, the song has an abnormally catchy vocal melody and anthemic instrumentation. Even in my first listen, I found myself humming along to the chorus of, "There's a ghost in me/ who wants to say "I'm Sorry."/ Doesn't mean I'm sorry." By my second listen, I was singing along with them.
The upbeat and driving, "I'm Not Scared" is perhaps the most appropriate song on the album, considering that "Velocifero" translates to "bringer of speed." It may also be the loudest song, though I don't really know what word translates to "bringer of bleeding ears." Were I a betting man, I would have no issues with betting on "Runaway" being the album's second single. The instrumentation here is a bit more thinned out than on the song it follows, and the song's topic is just begging it to be the next theme song for every rebellious teen on the planet. That's not to discredit it, however, as "Runaway" is easily one of the band's strongest songs to date, despite the fact that "my little runaway" is repeated endlessly towards the song's end. "Season of Illusions" and "Burning Up" don't really have much to offer and really drag the album's momentum down (which apparently is possible). The latter really has a classic Ladytron sound to it, so the more loyal fan my find it enjoyable. I, however, do not.
"Kletva" again brings back the Bulgarian language, though this time it is sung rather than spoken. Like its contemporary, the song is really very intriguing. For most of the song's first two minutes, the band uses a very eclectic mix of synth sounds, and the result is unlike anything I've heard from them before. It is very, very cool. 'They Gave You a Heart, They Gave You a Name" is another candidate for second single, with a very clear and pretty vocal melody. Its got a noticeable groove to it, and Helen's vocals are really in top form as she sings "They gave you a heart/ they gave you a name/ released to the wild/ with no one to tame." "Predict the Day" takes an alternate approach, using much harsher drums and synth sounds, but doing so in an enjoyable manner. Unfortunately, the vocals on the song are kind of weak, and I've found myself just longing for an instrumental version of the song. The instrumentation on this one is undoubtedly Velocifero's best.
"The Lovers" clocks in as Velocifero's shortest track, but still manages to be a favorite of mine. The song sounds like a Death Cab for Cutie song with all instrumentation replaced by crazy electronic instruments. The anthemic declaration of "We are the lovers," just sounds like it was ripped from a Ben Gibbard songbook. "Deep Blue," meanwhile, sounds more like a throwback to classic New Wave sounds, albeit with a Ladytron twist. Here, Mira sings, "Deep blue, I want to give it all to you/ Deep blue, I know that scares you," over some truly great instrumentation that even includes a violin (a real one!). The band ends the album on a high note, with "Versus," an unbelievably cool sounding song. The addition of an acoustic guitar, trumpet, and whistle give it a very distinctive spaghetti-western vibe. It seems completely out of character for a band like Ladytron, and perhaps that's why I simply can't get enough of it.
As with any Ladytron album, I am going to have some complaints. The big one, of course, is the fact that the vocals never blend well with the music. When you have so many layers of instrumentation going on, this is bound to happen - as it has on almost every Ladytron song so far. It is no fault of their own, just an unfortunate byproduct of the type of music that they so masterfully create. Any fan of the band will expect this, however, so as long as you know what you're getting into, this shouldn't be a problem. I also feel that the album could be about 2-3 songs too long, and could have used some trimming. Of course, these are only small, insignificant asides to what is an otherwise highly enjoyable listening experience. Velocifero is definitely my favorite album that Ladytron has crafted thus far, filled with so many unique styles and sounds that it can only be described as "stunning." With each album that the band puts out, they slowly inch towards mainstream acceptance. Velocifero may not be the one that does it completely, but it will certainly recruit more unsuspecting listeners to their unique, enchanting style. Perhaps that is good enough.
4. "They Gave You a Heart, They Gave You a Name"
7 out of 10 Stars...more info
- Pop goodness for the dance floor
Ladytron's "Witching Hour", their previous record, practically shot to the top 5 of my favorite albums ever and I can look back at it now and honestly say there's barely any filler on it. Even co-vocalist Mira Aroyo's 2 tracks have a likable qualit to them and the album had great pop and dance-y tunes one right after the other. Looking at it, I'm also surprised at how immediate it was which is different compared to their latest. "Velocifero", their fourth, is not as instant but it's also a rewarding record and though it isn't as near flawless as the last one was, this one is definately worth a listen for fans.
Black Cat: Mira wasn't as prominently featured last time so she takes the reins on this one and it's basically her singing almost flatly while co-vocalist Helen Marnie chimes in with a great melody now and then. With bouncy production and a catchy synth line, this isn't as hard rocking as "High Rise" but still works great. 9/10
Ghosts: Similar to "Sugar", this first single is meant to hook you in by having a chorus sung fairly often and the "there's a ghost in me/who wants to say I'm sorry/doesn't mean I'm sorry" line will easily get stuck in your head. Though not as repetitive as Sugar...at least until the end chorus anyway, the driving bass line and Helen's vocals make this a keeper. 9/10
I'm Not Scared: One word to describe this track would probably be "energetic". The drums and instruments create almost an ideal track for barreling down the highway at top speeds and of course Helen's vocals are always awesome. That guitar solo is pretty ace too, though slightly buried in the mix. 8.5/10
Runaway: Another single and like "Ghosts" the line is just simply "my little runaway" however it's used a bit too extensively. While it's ideal for the dance floor where you're not noticing it, the line is repeated a bit too often. But there is a great beat the percussion adds and despite the gripe, the chorus is catchy indeed. 8/10
Seasons of Illusions: A Mira track and I actually grew to like it after awhile. A strange synth sound kind of dominates the whole thing and Helen adds some lovely background vocals. Only thing about the song is like most Mira songs, the songs don't, shall we say, explode or do something that takes the song from great to flat-out awesome. 7.5/10
Burning Up: Helen's vocals sound strangely echo-y but the track as a whole is like a lot of tracks on the album: very "full" sounding with big percussion but it's such a lively and catchy track that it becomes a highlight. Kind of lurches at the end though. 7/10
Kletva: A Mira track and it's another oddity, one of those tracks where it's hard to latch onto though musically it's nicely varied with so much going on at once, "wall of sound" doesn't quite cut it. Only thing that knocks it is that there's no real vocal melody or really anything to hook into. 6/10
They Gave You a Heart, They Gave You a Name: Very punchy and lively track and the interplay between Mira and Helen works quite well whereas in most songs they either sing solo or just do the occasional background vocal like Black Cat. The "lay down beside me" is a good hook to get stuck in your head. 8/10
Predict the Day: I don't really know what to think of this one. It starts with very loud percussion and a whistling tune almost straight out of a Sergio Leone film. It's a nice change of pace from the hyper energy tracks but it's maybe a bit...too strange for some. At least this one adds a new whistle for you when you're out walking. 6.5/10
The Lovers: Propulsive is the word here as it's almost relentless and Helen's vocals are quite good though at times she's a bit buried and makes her hard to understand but then again, most of the tracks have that. Only thing about the track is that it's fairly short so it's hard to say whether it ends too early or it's the perfect length. 7/10
Deep Blue: Mira returns with her usual flat singing which of course works very well. I actually quite enjoyed the track and while the "deep blue I want to give it all to you, deep blue I know it scares you" hook is repeated a fair bit, the track is pretty sweet but then it hits a whole other stratosphere when Helen's vocals come in. Stellar moment when done live. My complaint? She comes in at the last literal minute. Bah. 9/10
Tomorrow: Helen's vocals have a nice dreamy quality during the chorus which almost makes me think of "Whitelightgenerator" from last record though the track's a bit more energetic and has a nice dream-pop quality to it. Hm, that song was also 2nd-to-last track too and this one is as well. Anyway it's a track well worth a checking out. 8.5/10
Versus: Instead of the quiet subdued "All the Way", we have a near-epic. It's a bit long (few hairs short of 6 minutes) but the sound of it just gives it a very rich and full experience and makes for a big fat finale. Only strange thing is there's a male background singer with her which is a nice idea but I don't like how their voices sound together. The vocalist of Stars for example (Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan) sound perfect together. Helen and Daniel Hunt don't all that well. Still nice closer though. 8/10
Only thing that knocks Velocifero down from Witching Hour is diversity in that tracks on this one are either high energy or just odd and something like a Beauty #2 or a fun ditty like The Last One Standing would've given this a nice mixture but as it is, this is a great release and well worth the time.
- I love this album
Last weekend I was at my favorite record store when I took a listen to the new Ladytron cd VELOCIFERO. I always wanted to hear their music but never had the opportunity until now. Needless to say I ended up leaving the store with VELOCIFERO in hand. I haven't been able to stop listening to VELOCIFERO since last weekend. Normally I am not into the sort of dance music Ladytron makes but I really enjoyed all 54 minutes. VELOCIFERO reminded me a mish mash of Lush, My Bloody Valentine, and Goldfrapp from their BLACK CHERRY era. The song that convinced me was "Ghosts". Helen Marnie reminded me of the women from the Lush with her sweet, intoxicating yet eerie vocals. Helen's vocals is a nice contrast to the often monotonous vocals of Mira Aroyo. I enjoyed all of the songs on the album but my personal favorite song on the album has to be "Versus". I love the male/female vocals, plus I find the song irresistably infectious. I definitely consider VELOCIFERO one of my top ten favorite albums of 2008....more info
- catchiest album to date
I continue to be impressed by Ladytron and the consistent quality of their recordings. "Velocifero" is very similar in sound to "Witching Hour", but in my opinion more consistent and catchier. No, it does not break any bold new musical ground or mark a different direction. But why should it? There's plenty of room for a high-quality album of 13 hook-laden tracks full of signature electro beats and fuzzy riffs. I'd be hard-pressed to name a dud song on here and equally hard pressed to pick my favorite, although I do find the novel duet "versus" that closes out the album careening through my head the most. If you enjoyed "Witching Hour" you have nothing to fear from "Velocifero"....more info
- great new record
Although it is not as good all the way through as "Witching Hour" (my personal favorite), this album is a genuine keeper. They slow down the pace on this record and go for atmosphere instead of punch. That is fine by me; a band should never make the same record over and over.
Admittedly, this album was not catchy upon first listen. There were a few stand out tracks but it needed to extra listens to really sink it. Seeing them live helped too. My favorite songs on Velocifero are:
1. deep blue
2. i'm not scared
Overall, this is a really good album and a great follow up to "Witching Hour." Looking forward to whatever they have coming in the next few years. ...more info
Album of 2008?
If Ladytron were a company they would be Apple. Always improving, making great product after great product. A brand you can trust.
Velocifero builds on the 'dance music played on real instruments' concept of "Witching hour", and brings in the classic themes of early albums.
Stunning tracks are 'Deep Blue', 'Runaway' and 'Versus'. I am not too keen on 'Ghosts' but I am sure it will sneakily grow on me....more info
- Much more consistent than their previous albums.
Every new Ladytron album replaces the one before it. After I heard Witching Hour, I practically stopped listening to Light And Magic, but now that Velocifero is out, I won't be returning to Witching Hour much. At the same time, Ladytron have made absolutely no changes to their basic style. Nearly every song has all of their trademarks: droning, chugging one-note keyboard lines, loud clumsy beats, Helen Marnie's witchy cooing and/or Mira Aroyo's vampish monotone.
So what's special about Velocifero? Well, it just sounds better. "I'm Not Scared" is a rewrite of "High Rise," built on the same kind of monotonous chug, but it roars out of the speakers with an energy unlike anything on Witching Hour. I don't know how much influence NIN's Alessandro Cortini had on the production, but in any case, it's emblematic that they chose him -- this is their heaviest album, with lots of distorted bass and occasional industrial-tinged beats. The mechanical thump and hiss of the drums in "Runaway" and "Deep Blue" wouldn't be too inappropriate for one of KMFDM's more danceable songs from the late eighties. Ladytron's remix of NIN's "The Beginning Of The End" was the best track on Year Zero Remixed, and it seems that they've put that experience to good use.
The music is more detailed, in general. "Black Cat" uses the typical drone-and-thump template from Witching Hour, but there are now some chiming keyboards in the background, and a discernible lead instrument that interplays with the lead vocal. "I'm Not Scared" actually has a keyboard solo -- sure, it basically just follows the vocal line, but for Ladytron, that's already pushing the boundaries. These may sound like minor changes, but they really add variety to the album.
It also helps that Mira Aroyo finally gets some good music to sing over. (She's always been Ladytron's secret weapon: erratic, but when her songs are good, they're the band's best.) The aforementioned "Black Cat" is her best turn, if not ever, then at least since "Flicking Your Switch" on Light And Magic. Her icy declamation is perfect for Velocifero's dark bass sound. She has another fantastic appearance on "Kletva," the only song on the album that doesn't use the typical drone-and-thump template, probably because it's a cover. The music sounds very pretty and child-like, but Aroyo's performance gives it a slightly world-weary air. It's a wonderfully understated song, one of the band's all-time best. Aroyo's English-language performances are weaker -- "Season Of Illusions" sounds virtually identical to a bunch of other songs, and "Deep Blue" is excruciatingly repetitive. But when she's on, she's really on.
By contrast, Helen Marnie's voice is occasionally overwhelmed by the production, but she also has a couple of stand-out moments, both of which seem to lift their musical content from sixties songs -- namely, the choruses of "Runaway" and "The Lovers." I wish I could remember the song where the rhythm from "The Lovers" comes from, but in any case, it's a great, anthemic hook. The short songs on Velocifero tend to be the better ones. Also, band member Daniel Hunt, mute until now, gets his first vocal appearance in a duet with Marnie on "Versus." He actually does pretty well, and for some reason reminds me of the guy who guested on Bjork's "The Dull Flame Of Desire."
Ladytron's lyrics, unfortunately, are still pretty bad, though probably better than before. The music does mitigate them somewhat, however. A repetitive song like "Predict The Day" (or "Burning Up" -- the catchiness of the line "I wrote a protest song about you" makes me rue its meaninglessness) where the lyrics mostly consist of a couple of chanted lines, would have been unlistenable filler on Light And Magic, but here it has a jagged bass outro that gives it considerable energy. The single "Ghosts," likewise, is carried mostly by the bass. That only goes so far, of course: "Deep Blue" has a pretty good industrial-disco backdrop, but the maniacal insistence on the line, "Deep Blue, I want to give it all to you" really grates.
It's not that they've overcome all their shortcomings. Ladytron are still a very, very repetitive band, even more than many of their contemporaries, and their songs tend to rely on the same musical elements. Some of the songs may be salvaged by the production, but they all use pretty much the same tricks in the same way, and often sound extremely similar. But this is probably the best they can do without making fundamental changes to their style. And, again, Velocifero improves on Witching Hour nearly track for track: "Black Cat" is better than "High Rise," "Tomorrow" is better than "Beauty x2" or "All The Way," and even filler like "Season Of Illusions" is better than the analogous filler "AMTV" or "Fighting In Built Up Areas." It certainly contains more good songs than any other Ladytron album to date....more info
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