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iTunes Music Review - Velocifero (3 out of 5)
- Reviewed by Bryan Chaffin
"Back to the future" isn't the right turn of phrase for Ladytron's newest album, Velocifero, so let's call it "forward to the past." That is a tad ironic, because Ladytron's third album (2005's Witching Hour, and to a lesser extent 2002's Light & Magic), evoked imagery of some sort of cyberpunky future world -- probably set in Tokyo -- while Velocifero makes me think very much of what we thought the future was going to sound like sometime in the early 1980s.
Is that necessarily a bad thing? No, but Velocifero also lacks those terrific pop hooks that made Witching Hour and Light & Magic such an instant pleasure to listen to. There's just so little oomf to this album, and for me, that's made it a bit of a disappointment.
Don't get me wrong, Velocifero did grow on me with repeated listens, but it simply doesn't pack the same punch as the band's previous two albums. Rather than hooking me in, the songs often lie there, or worse, march along. Knowing that this band is capable of so much more leaves me feeling a little empty.
On the stronger side are "Black Cat," and "Ghosts." These songs almost deliver the goods, and are definitely a pleasant listen. I also like the chord structure of "Deep Blue," though the melody feels a bit lifeless, and the overall feel is one of the most Euro 80s new wave ditties in the collection.
I'm not the kind of music fan that wants my bands to stay locked into a certain sound forever, but at the end of the day, Velocifero feels like a step backward more than anything else. It's not a bad album, it's just not as good as it could be.Bryan Chaffin