Review of Best Of 00-10 Album by Ladytron

One question that won't come up in any music quizzes of the foreseeable future is the bafflingly unanswerable "Why aren't Ladytron one of the biggest bands in the world?" Nevertheless, as bemusing facts go, it really is quite scandalous that one of the most innovative outfits to grace these shores this past decade still never have a top forty hit single amongst their hugely impressive back catalogue.

Ladytron Best Of 00-10 Album

Formed in 1999 through a shared love of electronic pop and Roxy Music, the four-piece of Helen Marnie, Reuben Wu, Mira Aroyo and Daniel Hunt arrived like a breath of fresh air amidst a squalid stench of acoustic dullards and Yanks in big shorts. In any other era, their pristine, elaborately executed pop would have set the accountants running to the hills counting their sales figures along the way, and yet for some reason Joe Public at large failed to catch on. Maybe by some quirk of fate Ladytron were actually ahead of the game? Certainly the commercial success of peers like Simian Mobile Disco and La Roux suggests there is a market out there for such wares after all, yet none of those who've followed suit can boast to having matched the consistency album-for-album, single-for-single, that Ladytron have achieved so effortlessly throughout their eleven year existence.

While most 'Best Of' compilations tend to be little more than chronological history lessons from start to finish of a band's career, 'Best Of 00-10' veers off the traditional beaten track somewhat. Comprising seventeen tracks in all, two of which are previously unreleased until now, the main facet of such a collection is the staggering level of quality on display throughout the entire record. Even the band's earliest forays into recording, 'Playgirl' and 'Discotraxx', the only two songs culled from 2001's debut long player '604', still sound as fresh and invigorating as when first released.

In fact, taking in the entire contents of 'Best Of 00-10' its difficult to pinpoint a weak link. 'Destroy Everything You Touch' and 'Tomorrow' could both quite easily take first and second place were there an award bestowed on the great-lost pop song of the past decade. Similarly the futuristic 'International Dateline', pervasive 'Seventeen' and pre-GaGa pomp of 'Runaway' all deserve accolades of their own for bringing intelligence and nuance into a genre seemingly lost at the hands of an endless stream of Syco and Ark Music puppets.

Elsewhere, current single 'Ace Of Hz' and Death In June cover 'Little Black Angel' give us a sneak taster of what to expect from forthcoming long player 'Gravity The Seducer', while debates will no doubt continue long into the ether about the band's decision not to include such immaculate gems as 'Sugar', 'Evil' and 'Paco!' on what is an otherwise flawless compilation.

Still, I guess that's what comes from having such an impeccable back catalogue to fall back on. Ladytron, we salute you. Here's to another ten years of sheer excellence.


Dom Gourlay

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