18 December 2013

"Crystal World" is Softsynth's Best Electronic Album of 2013

According to Softsynth, Crystal World is the "Best Electronic Album of 2013"! Congratulations to Helen!

The album was introduced with these words:

Ladytron are one of our favourite bands, full stop. But Ladytron albums are often a mixed bag. Different vocalists, varying styles, some of it works like magic, some of it just doesn't, but the sheer boldness of their ongoing experimentation is thrilling and keeps their fans coming back, breathless, to see what they're going to do next.

What they've never been is predictable. Helen Marnie's debut solo effort is predictable in the sense of, "if Ladytron made the consummate, expected Ladytron album what would it sound like? Or put another way, if we could make our own perfect Ladytron album what would it be?" It would be Crystal World. Produced by bandmate, Daniel Hunt this "half of Ladytron" or "Ladytron light" strikes a perfect note.

With a chilliness one might expect from an album produced in Iceland, it's got a pristine quality that feels untouchable at first, unwelcoming at worst. But spend some time with these lyrics, and more so, these exquisite melodies (listen to the unexpected soar of her vocal throughout "The Wind Breezes On", or the building intensity of "Sugarland", or the out of left field vocal harmony on the bridge of "We Are the Sea", or... or... or... take your pick.

There are so many "moments" here you'll go dizzy searching them out) will simply grow on you like a virus. A very pretty, icy-sweet virus. Nearly flawless, Helen Marnie has transcended simple electronic music to bring us an honest-to-dog work of art. And it's the electronic album of the year.