Escape into electronic waves with ‘Time’s Arrow’

Hypnotic and vibrant, Ladytron’s synth-pop does not disappoint


Ladytron captivates using emotional and dense compositions in their newest album.
Rating: B
Art Credit: Cooking Vinyl Limited

Venice Jingco, Staff writer

Emerging in Liverpool, the electronic quartet Ladytron began their journey in the late ‘90s. Their band name was influenced by Roxy Music’s “Ladytron”, the glam-rock song known for its eccentricity and seen as ahead of its time in the 1970s. The band makes use of many synthpop elements, layering electronic sounds and sometimes vocals into their songs. Five years after their sixth album, Gravity the Seducer, Ladytron released their newest album: Time’s Arrow.

The first track, “City of Angels” emulates a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere. Ladytron sings, “City of angels, an estate to ourselves” that echoes throughout the heavier electronic synth to form an uncanny harmony. Another track, “Faces,” is more intense than the last, with contemporary beats being drummed beside “Faces come from yesterday / Faces without answer” for an entrancing rhythm that pulls in the listener. In comparison, “Misery Remember Me” feels like a breather, as Ladytron sings, “Storm’s a battle that I’m bound to lose / And I am not myself, I’m gone” embracing sentimental lyrics that aim closer to the heart and play at a lighter pace than previous tracks.

The fourth track, “Flight from Angkor” feels spacey and nostalgic. Vocals repeat “Up from a waking dream,” with hazy waves echoing between “Bending time, refracting light / Touch it and it disappears” capturing the feeling of fading in and out of a dream, alike when Ladytron sings, “We Never Went Away,” on the fifth track.

“The Night” starts upbeat and airy, slowly filling the space and adding layers to the music. However, when the lyrics enter the song, the mood completely shifts to lose the build-up in exchange for an ominous tone. Eventually, the upbeat music returns, but feels like a poor blend between the two tones.

To end the series, “Time’s Arrow” is the finishing piece to Ladytron’s twin named album. The track begins by picking at sinister high-pitched notes that are unsettling to the listener, reminiscent of a classic horror movie scene. From there, the drums intensify and accompany the lyrics, “Some days high, some days low to the ground / Time’s arrow born with a bang” with an occasional wail that echoes behind heavy drums. The song interchanges between the drums and lyrics, and feels catchier than other tracks in the album.

Ladytron’s music is ably abstract. Their music feels cryptic and personal; their ability to blend strong electronic synth with echoey vocals is impressive. While Ladytron isn’t perfect, Time’s Arrow still feels like a genuine return for the band.