Ladytron's Light & Magic fails to dazzle!

Review by Jack Foley

ELECTRONICA is a musical genre I can generally take or leave. It can sound ok (as with Daft Punk) but more often that not, it sounds like a throwback to the throwaway 80s movement - a decade when music generally felt stale and forgettable.

It is little wonder, therefore, to report that Ladytron's follow-up to the critically-acclaimed 604 album is one which fits comfortably into the above category. Occasionally surprising, there are too many tracks which feel tired and whiny, while not enough goes on to suggest that the band is not on auto-pilot.

Comprised of Daniel Hunt, Reuben Wu, Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo, Ladytron manage to combine a distinctly Pet Shop Boys synthesizer sound (at their darkest), with the more upbeat pop vocals of, say, Dubstar.

On the plus side, current single, Seventeen, is catchy enough to justify its 'Ladytron are back' billing (heck, even XfM are playing it), while Blue Jeans epitomises the Dubstar style and is a really good pop tune that actually makes you stop what you're doing and listen.

Title track, Light and Magic, is also good value, featuring the 80s synthesizers sound of Jean Michelle Jarre, while the first track, True Mathematics, is a good way of getting things rolling. Alas, the album fades into obscurity elsewhere.

Too many of the beats sound flat and unexciting, while there really isn't very much to distinguish between them. The over-use of vocoder chorus also feels borrowed, like a nod to Madonna's Music album, and does little to suggest that Ladytron are really attempting to push the musical envelope.

Fans of retro Euro-pop may glean something from the album, but too little here really hits the mark, rendering it an easy enough listen; but one which quickly fades from the memory and is likely to be collecting dust on the shelf by the end of the first week of owning it. Stick with the singles if you want to own any new Ladytron material...

Track listings:

1. True Mathematics
2. Seventeen
3. Flicking Your Switch
4. Fire
5. Turn It On
6. Blue Jeans
7. Cracked LCD
8. Black Plastic
9. Evil
10. Start Up Chime
11. Nu Horizons
12. Cease2exist
13. Re:agents
14. Light & Magic
15. The Reason Why