Despite being one of the world's leading electropop stylists since they started in 1999, Ladytron don't have the typical cold and robotic sound you might expect. That's partly because the coed Liverpool quartet go to the trouble of using vintage analog equipment, which gives the music a warmer, dreamier feel on their fourth full-length CD, Velocifero. Singer-keyboardist Mira Aroyo claims that Dr. John was among her influences on the new album, and while it's not readily apparent how the salty old Night Tripper figures into Ladytron's modern, dance-heavy grooves, it is clear that she and co-lead singer Helen Marnie have a gift for haunting pop-music structures. Underneath swarming, buzzing synthesizers, "Burning Up" has an ethereal, romantically aching loneliness that's more poignant and affecting than most electropop. The ambiguous apologies of "Ghosts" ride along on Daniel Hunt's guitars and programmer Reuben Wu's shimmering rhythms, while "Season of Illusions" intrigues with such enigmatically poetic imagery as a "night of fading stars and a legacy of clouds." Aroyo deepens the mystery by singing in her native Bulgarian amid the swirling chimes of "Kletva."
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