Ladytron – Time's Arrow

The good old Ladytron formula!?

Ladytron - Time's Arrow

Album facts

Release Date: January 20th, 2023
Label: Ladytron Music
Tags: , ,
Discogs: Ladytron – Time's Arrow
Partially sounds like: Marsheaux, Client
Final score: 3.4 stars
Matching album cliches: 0 / 7

After a four-year hiatus, elec­tron­ic music pion­eers Ladytron return with their highly-anti­cip­ated new album "Time's Arrow". Following the suc­cess of their self-titled 2019 release 'Ladytron', the band has dropped two singles to tease the album, leav­ing fans eagerly await­ing its arrival. Join us as we take a deep dive into the album and see if it lives up to the hype.

An explosive opening: First track convinces instantly

'City of Angels' is a great open­er for Ladytron's album "Time's Arrow". As the first single, it sets the tone for the almost rest of the album and gives a taste of the band's typ­ic­al elec­tron­ic synth pop sound. The midtempo beat and catchy melody make it a per­fect intro­duc­tion to the album and a great way to get into the band's sound. After listen to the first new song I was already on fire.

'Faces' is a standout track on Ladytron's album "Time's Arrow". Although the offi­cial video may not have con­vinced me, the song itself is a bright and catchy elec­tro pop track. The use of typ­ic­al 70s organs gives it a retro feel, while still main­tain­ing the band's sig­na­ture sound and DNA in the song struc­ture. Overall, it's a fant­ast­ic addi­tion to the album and a must-listen for fans of the band.

Faces we've for­got­ten and
Faces we remem­ber to forget
Lyrics from 'Faces' by Ladytron

No risk taken: A lack of innovation

The song 'Misery Remember Me' starts off with poppy gui­tars. The song has a sad and tra­gic feel­ing, remin­is­cent of an 80s movie scene of being lost on a rainy night. However, in my opin­ion, not much hap­pens in the song and it comes across as quite mediocre. It might not be the strongest track on the album, but it's still worth listen­ing to it as a con­tinu­ity of the album.

'Flight From Angkor' is an intriguing song with a mys­ter­i­ous and dark intro fea­tur­ing sci-fi sounds. At least for a few seconds. The song has a slow tempo that gives it a sense of unease and ten­sion. The use of syn­thes­izer sounds is impress­ive and cre­ates a unique sound­scape. Although the build-up is well craf­ted, it lacks some dynam­ism that could make it more engaging.

Ladytron (Promo photo 2023)
Ladytron (Promo photo 2023)

With the song 'We Never Went Away', Ladytron wel­comes you to a mod­ern hip­pie com­mune with its laid-back and groovy beat. However, the beat may not be as enga­ging as some of the oth­er tracks on the album, and the leis­urely pace may not sweep you away. The drum sounds used in the song are remin­is­cent of the 90s, but they may come across as unin­spir­ing and don't add much to the over­all song. The com­bin­a­tion of sur­face sounds and the drum sounds glide through the song, but the 3:57 minutes may feel like an etern­ity, mak­ing it one of the less mem­or­able tracks on the album.

A bixed bag: A few strong tracks amidst the mediocre

The sixth song finally gets my atten­tion again. 'The Night' is likely to appeal to fans of synth pop. It's a more upbeat track com­pared to some of the oth­ers on the album, with a great­er vari­ety of sounds and instru­ments. The clear sound sep­ar­a­tion between verse and chor­us is par­tic­u­larly note­worthy, and it's a standout fea­ture of the song. The crisp beat is great and in my opin­ion, it's worth a single release. The song is a clas­sic synth pop track and the bridge is fant­ast­ic­ally arranged.

I remem­ber the times
I've wanted to hurt you
Yeah, I've wanted to hurt you
Lyrics from 'The Night' by Ladytron

'The Dreamers' is a bal­lad on Ladytron's album "Time's Arrow" that has a more mod­ern feel to it. Unlike some of the oth­er songs on the album, it dis­penses with the typ­ic­al 60s organs and instead cre­ates a unique aes­thet­ic and atmo­sphere that trans­ports the listen­er into a dark cyber­punk scen­ario. This is likely due to the robot­ic voices in the bridge, which add a sense of oth­er­world­li­ness to the song.

An unmemorable farewell: The weak closing tracks of the album

'Sargasso Sea' is a "not my cup of tea song" that is quite for­get­table, it serves as a short inter­lude and doesn't bring any­thing par­tic­u­larly new or note­worthy to the album. It might be con­sidered as a filler track and it doesn't add much to the over­all listen­ing exper­i­ence. Please don't stone me for this words, because it's just my per­son­al opin­ion about it.

The pen­ul­tim­ate song 'California' starts off with a soft 90s altern­at­ive pop/rock vibe, but as soon as the vocals come in, that mood quickly fades. The song is quite slow and mono­ton­ous, and per­son­ally, I don't find it to be one of the more enga­ging tracks on the album. The gui­tar work is also not to my taste. This song is likely to appeal more to the die-hard fans of the band, but for me, it doesn't work at all.

The last and album title track "Time's Arrow" is unfor­tu­nately mediocre. While some of the synth sounds are inter­est­ing, the over­all song does not stand out. The vocals, espe­cially in the first verse, give off a smoky, 1940s club vibe. The most note­worthy moment in the song is the ton­al switch at 2:48 minutes, which caught my atten­tion for a moment. Overall, the song is not bad, but it doesn't leave much of an impression.

The bottom line: An average album with a few highlights

Overall, Ladytron's album "Time's Arrow" is mediocre. While a few songs stand out, the major­ity of the album is for­get­table. The album is more likely to appeal to die-hard fans of the band. In my opin­ion, it is as incon­sequen­tial as the band's 2011 album 'Gravity The Seducer'.
I'm not one to pine for the past, but after the last albums, my hope for anoth­er 'Velocifero' or 'Witching Hour' from the band is get­ting lower and lower. The last album 'Ladytron' was at least close. The album lacks the energy, catchi­ness and the over­all sound that made Ladytron's earli­er albums so memorable.

Track by track rating for: Ladytron – Time's Arrow

Ladytron - Time's Arrow
Ladytron – Time's Arrow
City Of Angels
Misery Remember Me
Flight From Angkor
We Never Went Away
The Night
The Dreamers
Sargasso Sea
Time's Arrow
City Of Angels
The Night
Sargasso Sea

Typical album cliché list for: Ladytron – Time's Arrow