Album Review

Gravity The Seducer

Gravity The Seducer

By Ladytron

Nettwerk
7 / 10
26th October 2011

By Danielle Street

In a move of evolution British electro-pop outfit Ladytron have turned from the brink of rock to take a darkly cinematic adventure. Earlier in the year the foursome wiped the slate clean with a ‘Best Of’ album, while at the same time nodding to things to come with new single ‘Ace of Hz’. This taste-tester whet the appetite for atmospheric tracks with cool edges that would soon be served up.

Recorded in the English countryside the group’s fifth album. Gravity the Seducer, contains dense and layered synthetic sounds. The album’s striking cover designed by surrealist photographer Neil Krug (who has previously directed videos for the band) illustrates a dreamlike journey down a dusky and solemn highway. A traverse across a Korg-inspired soundscape.

Several songs on Gravity hold the tone of electro-noir, such as later track ‘Ambulance’ a clingy track with a chorus of stabbing keys across dark riffs. Then the subsequent pitchy ‘Melting Ice’ changes tack to a more urgent pace with sweeping fuzzy synth and shadowy layers of vocals. Certainly vocals are a strength of the group, and broody tracks like ‘Mirage’ flourish from the mingling of Helen and Mira’s voices, sounding both alluring and piercingly haunting.

Near-instrumental ‘Ritual’ resembles the soundtrack of a post-modern thriller, though compared to other songs on the album it is a little thin. Without the bolstering of resonant vocals the result is little unsatisfying, much like later track ‘Altitude Blues’. However not all instrumentals are created equal, and the crackly calm of ‘Transparent Days’ with rolling drums and rhythmical horse-feet beats is full and rich. It delivers us to the home stretch of ‘Ninety Degrees’, a mellow song whose words evoke imagery of watching the world pass by. Final track ‘Aces High’, which is also an instrumental, melodically wraps the album by closing the circle back to relatively aged ‘Ace of Hz’.

It is a cohesive journey, with a few bland patches that dilute the overall strength of the album. But, Gravity the Seducer should surely please Ladytron fans that have followed their dozen-year career, and perhaps pick up a few hitchhikers along the way.






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