2001, Music

604 (2001) by Ladytron

I’m sort of mystified by the critical acclaim of this record. It’s two women singing laconically above some electronic beats that don’t vary very much (sorry). It’s pretty long, and it’s very one-note.

Some of the melodies are okay but I’m not sure there are enough good melodies for the 54 minutes. It also feels somewhat front-loaded. More of the melodies I remember are earlier on in the record and when I try to remember which song is which (which is hard!) I do better earlier on in the track list.

Lyrics are not a priority for primarily electronic bands and it shows here too. That’s particularly weird given that this is an electronic band with two singers who do appear to have their own voices. But the lyrics can be really lazy, with “Paco!” being the very worst example. If you’re going to actually sing, as opposed to just loop a vocal, I’m going to need more.

I think a lot of the appeal for this group is the supposed allure of the two female singers, one of whom sometimes sings in her native Bulgarian, which I guess must have felt like some kind of thing to care about in the UK in 2001. I don’t find either of them particularly compelling and they both sing too often in that vaguely detached-sounding way that so many indie artists adopted in the ’90s. It’s okay to try to be better as singers, I swear. Compelling vocals might have really changed the way I feel about this record.

The music is much too one-note. There’s the odd track that deviates a little from the the formula but there aren’t enough of them for an album that is nearly an hour long. And when I don’t particularly like this kind of music to start, that makes it a slog for someone like me.

This group needs a better singer or it needs more variety. (And better lyrics!) There are better electronic music albums out there and there are better pop albums that rely on electronic music.

6/10 because it’s well made

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