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Ladytron

Light & Magic

Emperor Norton

Consisting of Helen Marnie, Reuben Wu, Mira Aroyo and Daniel Hunt, the ABBA of synthcore have been honing their craft for a mere three years now, but don't let the dearth of years fool you; Ladytron excels at creating yummylicious confections of pure pop and gooey synthesized goodness.

The follow-up to 2000's seminal 604, Light & Magic is the finest in "analog synth pop." It's rich and multi-layered, yet straightforward and deliciously chilly. The opening track, "True Mathematics," is reminiscent of The Normal's pioneering "Warm Leatherette" -- its detached and sparse feel is warmed by fuzzy synthesizers and chunky breaks. With its cool haughtiness, the first single, "Seventeen" dryly comments on the expiration date of youth in what could be the music and/or fashion industries -- "They only want you when you're 17/When you're 21, you're no fun." Brrr. "Blue Jeans" (my favorite track) is dreamy and somewhat ethereal, with this organic drum/cymbal line that makes you want to "ch" right along. "Nuhorizons" is dark and foreboding, a very evil-sounding track sung in a foreign language.

With a tour of the US starting in February and a John Peel session already recorded, Ladytron is sure to garner even more critical praise and legions of new fans.

Ladytron: http://www.ladytron.com