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Music Review: Ladytron – Best of Ladytron: 00-10

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Ladytron has always rightly been cited as legendary in the synth pop genre. Artists like Goldfrapp, Crystal Castles, and Lady Gaga have called on the quartet’s legacy as a point of reference and for good reason, as this smoking Liverpool act has been in the game for over ten years now.

Best of Ladytron: 00-10 celebrates the decade with a mix of songs from such amazing releases as 604 (2001), Light & Magic (2002), Witching Hour (2005), and Velocifero (2008).

The compilation comes in two versions, with a single serving recording including 17 tracks. A two-disc deluxe edition features an additional 16 cuts and an 80-page booklet. This review covers the single-disc edition.

In the world of Ladytron, the sublime face of the goddess is found in the conflict between two worlds. Vocalists Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo collide in magical fashion, eschewing predictable vocal layouts and call-and-response passages in favour of elegantly blended singing. With Liverpool DJ Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu in the fold, Ladytron makes dance music fucking dangerous and fucking gorgeous.

Best of Ladytron: 00-10 opens with “Destroy Everything You Touch,” one of the band’s most intoxicating cuts. Taken from Witching Hour, this is an example of what four people can do when they’re all on the same page. Hints of New Wave combine with pop to create a hell of a groove, while the melting ice of Marnie and Aroyo’s vocals glisten. A blast of darkness keeps “Destroy Everything You Touch” in the shadows.

Other groovy representatives from Witching Hour, arguably Ladytron’s best record, include “Soft Power,” “International Dateline,” “Fighting in Built Up Areas,” and “The Last One Standing.”

“Discotraxx” takes several steps back in time from the Witching Hour selections and finds a thinner Ladytron. The traditional analog vibe builds a tight groove in this 604 original, while distant vocals exude a retro feel. It’s a cool throwback club tune, that’s for sure.

The tunes from Light & Magic include “Seventeen,” “Blue Jeans,” “Cracked LCD,” and the title track.

“Ghosts,” one of my favourite tracks from Velocifero, is a grinding, chomping piece of work that pulsates with a delectable creepiness that’s hard as neon hell to shake. The 2008 record is also represented by “Runaway,” “Deep Blue,” and “Tomorrow.”

Along with the aforementioned choice cuts from Ladytron’s impressive discography, Best of Ladytron: 00-10 carries with it a pair of goodies. There’s a sinister, bass-heavy rendition of Death in June’s “Little Black Angel” and “Ace of Hz,” a new song familiar to some because of its appearance in FIFA 11.

With a new album set to drop shortly, the time is right for this career retrospective. These 17 cuts run the gauntlet of cheerily discordant electro-pop, offering a suitably hard and bright stare at all the gleeful, bewitching darkness that makes Ladytron special.

 

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