It's not like you'd expect anything different from Ladytron; not really. Although the Liverpool-based electropop quartet have built their career almost solely on stark, synth-driven beats, at least they occasionally turned up a gem like Seventeen or Evil. 2005's 'Witching Hour' - their last studio release - provided more of the same austere offerings, and theor fourth album Velocifero is also made of similar mettle.
That said, what Ladytron do, they largely do well. Ghosts, in particular, is an early highlight - a glam-electro number that sounds like Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie collaborating with Kid A-era Radiohead, while opener Black Cat (one of two tracks that Mira Ayoro sings in her native Bulgarian) is enjoyable in a grimy, robotic kind-of-way.
The problem with Ladytron, however, is that they seem to be unnecessarily struggling with the fact that the charts are now saturated with the style that they once had a hand in pioneering - and what results is a collection of tracks that are simply too emotionless, austere and devoid of character to connect with.
It's only the closing four tracks that sees Velocifero finally let its guard down; Tomorrow's pulsating urgency and The Lovers' melodic tone both appeal, Deep Blue's Parisian club anthem proves that a song doesn't have to be hostile to be cool, and closer Versus is the softest, most considered offering on display, quietly winding the album down to a blurry, synth-filled halt. It's not like you'd expect anything different from Ladytron; but still, it would have been nice all the same.