Ladytron, Gravity the Seducer

Stacey Anderson

By Stacey Anderson

on 09.13.11 in Reviews

Gravity The Seducer


While many of their peers have faded out as churlishly as their synths, the English electro-pop band Ladytron thrives by following their flair for shrewd hooks. Theirs are the sort of melodies that feel instinctual, that transform initially simple refrains into mantras of efficient urgency; it is the tactic that made their contemplative third album, 2005′s The Witching Hour, the flint that sparked a mass reevaluation of their peculiar alchemy of dance and shoegaze music.

The Liverpool group’s fifth album, Gravity the Seducer, shares that emotional distillation, but adds a pensive elegance. It sprawls out more glibly than past efforts, in full deference to those recessive new-wave genes, blending broad synths and scratchy strings to surprising cohesion. The mood is a bit more somber this time around, but not bleak: The standout “White Gold” slinks along terse, clamoring synths and a tinny ’80s drumbeat, singer Mira Aroyo glum but accepting, deploying ghostly wails to sing about “the power of deception.” “Ace of Hz” (the “Hz” is pronounced “hearts,” though a more onomatopoeic hissing sound also trembles eerily among the keyboards) is a fully-devoted ’80s pop jam, woozy and clinically detached — a John Hughes soundtrack if the wizened goth kids had inherited the earth.