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Ladytron – Witching Hour

One thing is clear about Ladytron’s brand of snyth-pop; it’s hauntingly addicting. At times warm and sexy, other times cool and detached and almost always dark and dreamy. Ladytron established this sound with their first two releases 604 and Light & Magic and continue with their third release Witching Hour.

Only this album is different.


The four-piece of Helen Marnie, Mira Aroyo, Reuben Wu, and Daniel Hunt have updated their synth-pop sound drawing upon their indie-rock influences to create a larger and more layered sound. Witching Hour is thicker, more dynamic and darker than anything they have done in the past. The music has added texture and sounds more like the 2003 mix album Softcore Jukebox and less like the faded electroclash style of synth-pop Ladytron had been unfairly associated with on their previous stylish works.

Witching Hour has a rock-like feel from the start with “High Rise” and continues with the mega-hit in waiting, “Destroy Everything You Touch.” This song is every bit as intense and gripping as 2002’s “Seventeen,” with its soaring synth-pop vibe infused with the intensity of spacey indie-rock elements that reveal the group’s improved songwriting. Equally mesmerizing is the peak of Witching Hour, “Soft Power.” It is absolutely haunting and displays some of Marnie’s most compelling vocals to date accompanied by the dirtiness of electro fuzz and the shoegaze-styled guitar buzz. Ladytron’s new focus is evident on the tripiness of “International Dateline” and on their first single “Sugar” that uses guitar treatments to create larger and catchier rhythms. Witching Hour’s rock edge is tempered by the dream-pop elements that arise on songs “Last One Standing,” and the beautiful darkness of “Beauty*2.”

Ladytron even dabbles with an industrial feel on “Fighting In Built Up Areas,” that nudges their brand of snyth-pop song structuring into newer untested waters. Witching Hour represents a successful transition to redefine what it is we think about the whole dream/electro/indie-pop genre description. So let Ladytron assist in you with the acquisition of a new addiction, and a breath of fresh air away from their imitators.


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