Gravity the Seducer

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Gravity the Seducer
Studio album by Ladytron
Released 12 September 2011 (2011-09-12)
Recorded Kent, England
Genre Electronic,[1] synthpop,[2] baroque pop[3]
Length 47:47
Label Nettwerk
Producer Ladytron, Daniel Hunt, Barny Barnicot, Alessandro Cortini
Ladytron chronology
Best of 00–10
(2011)
Gravity the Seducer
(2011)
Singles from Gravity the Seducer
  1. "White Elephant"
    Released: 17 May 2011
  2. "Mirage"
    Released: 9 August 2011

Gravity the Seducer is the fifth studio album by electronic music band Ladytron. The album was released by Nettwerk in the United Kingdom on 12 September 2011 and in the United States, a day later. Recorded in Kent, England, the album has been described as "haunted, evocative, romantic",[4] and having "a feminine warmth".[5]

Two singles have been released from the album, "Mirage" and "White Elephant". The song "Ace of Hz" had previously been released as a single from the greatest hits album Best of 00–10 before appearing on Gravity the Seducer. Release of the album coincided with a tour across Canada and the United States.

Gravity the Seducer earned generally positive reviews and reached number seventy-two on the UK Albums Chart, the group's highest-peaking album in their home country as of September 2012.

Production[edit]

"It isn't like our other albums. It sounds warm, lush, full of strings, organs and bells. It won't please everyone, you never can, but we're all pretty happy with it."

—Marnie on the album's sound.[6]

Gravity the Seducer was Ladytron's second studio album produced for record label Nettwerk, with whom they signed in 2007.[7] Their first release through the Nettwork label was the 2008 studio album Velocifero,[8] followed in March 2011 by the greatest hits album Best of 00–10.[9] Ladytron also self-released the live album, Live at London Astoria 16.07.08 in 2009.[10][11]

Gravity the Seducer was recorded in Kent, England,[6] and was co-produced by Barny Barnicott, who had previously collaborated with Arctic Monkeys and Editors.[12] as well has having worked on Ladytron's 2005 album Witching Hour.[13] The band felt that the production of the album was different from that of Velocifero, with band member Daniel Hunt noting that the latter record had been "made with performance in mind", as the band had recently finished touring when it was produced. Gravity the Seducer was produced "while removed from that thinking".[13]

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, singer Helen Marnie described the album as "the warmest, most emotional, thing we've ever done".[14] The vocal parts on the album have been mixed at a lower volume than previous Ladytron albums, while four tracks are entirely instrumental.[15] The title Gravity the Seducer is taken from a line in the song "Ninety Degrees", which Hunt has described as "expanding our creative horizons".[13] The cover artwork, designed by Neil Krug, has been described as an "endless vista" thematically linked the music's "vast atmospheres",[1] and has been compared to the works of design group Hipgnosis.[16]

Release[edit]

Gravity the Seducer was released on 12 September 2011 in the United Kingdom, and the following day in the United States.[16] The album's release coincided with a number of tour dates in Canada and the United States throughout September and October.[17] During the album's active promotion in 2011, Ladytron also toured in Mexico,[18] Brazil,[18] Chile,[18] Thailand,[18] Indonesia,[18] and Singapore.[18]

Singles[edit]

"Ace of Hz", the fourth song from Gravity the Seducer, also appeared on band's greatest hits compilation Best of 00–10 and on their Ace of Hz EP. "Ace of Hz" had been released as a single on 30 November 2010. The song was also included in the video game FIFA 11.[19] "White Elephant" was officially released as the lead single from Gravity the Seducer on 17 May 2011.[20]

For further promotion, the songs "Ambulances" and "Mirage" were released as digital downloads on 21 June and 9 August, respectively.[21][22] The video for "Mirage" was filmed at the Callanish Stones, a five-thousand-year-old stone circle near the Scottish village of Callanish.[23] The video was co-directed by Michael Sherrington and Daniel Hunt.[24]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 68/100[25]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
The A.V. Club B−[3]
Clash 9/10[5]
Drowned in Sound 5/10[2]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[26]
The Independent positive[4]
NME 7/10[27]
Pitchfork Media 6/10[28]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[29]
Spin 6/10[30]

Gravity the Seducer was met with generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 68, based on 20 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[25]

Heather Phares, writing for Allmusic, rated the album three-and-half stars out of five, describing it as "an admirable artistic choice, even though it doesn’t always pay off". Phares felt that Gravity the Seducer was "more focused" than the band's previous album Velocifero, but was "not as accessible" as that record.[1] The A.V. Club's Christopher Bahn gave the album a B- rating, calling it "heart-on-sleeve and icily detached at the same time"; however, Bahn felt that "the lack of a propulsive single ... as well as an overabundance of instrumentals, suggests a band that’s spinning its wheels".[3]

Chris Todd of Clash magazine scored Gravity the Seducer nine out of ten, describing the album as having "a feminine warmth" compared to the band's earlier work. Todd felt that the album added "a new found spaciousness to [the band's] sound", and described the tracks "Mirage", "Ritual" and "White Gold" as being "three of Ladytron’s finest songs".[5]

The Independent's Simon Price described the album as "faultless", noting that it represented the band "at their most electronically pure". Price found the song "Transparent Days" to be a highlight, and added that the album makes "the world feel a more haunted, evocative, romantic place".[4] NME's Jamie Crossan rated Gravity the Seducer seven out of ten, finding it to be "nothing new", but feeling that the album's content is more of what "the band have always excelled" at. Crossan also singled out the song "Moon Palace" as a highlight of the album.[27]

Larry Fitzmaurice of Pitchfork Media gave the album a score of six out of ten, describing it as "upsettingly uneven". Fitzmaurice felt that Gravity the Seducer represented a transition away from the sound of band's earlier work, which he felt was still evident in "Ace of Hz" and "Mirage", towards a "floatier, airy feel".[28] Drowned in Sound's John Calvert gave the album a rating of five out of ten, finding it to be "slightly bland" and "nondescript in its understated sophistication". Calvert felt that the album's overall direction was "well realised", but ultimately found that "Gravity the Seducer never manages to get under your skin the way the band intended".[2]

Slant Magazine's Eric Henderson rated the album three stars out of five, describing it as "uniformly sleek [and] polished like a summer skyline". Henderson also compared Gravity the Seducer to the soundtrack to the 2011 film Drive, and praised singer Helen Marnie's "lightly lilting" vocals. However, he felt that the similarity between several songs—including "Mirage", "Ace of Hz" and "Ritual", all written in the key of D minor—left the album feeling "almost barren".[29]

Michael Hann, writing for The Guardian, rated the album three stars out of five, finding it did not measure up to the band's earlier work, picking out their earlier single "Destroy Everything You Touch" as a yardstick "that subsequent work will always be judged against". Hann found that some of Gravity the Seducer's tracks, particularly "Ritual", seemed "unfinished and unsatisfactory".[26] Spin magazine's Barry Walters rated the album six out of ten, finding that it "lacks the infectious, dark-disco rumble" of Ladytron's earlier work, noting that it "withhold[s] the hooks that previously put the sweet in their bitter".[30]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the band's home country, the United Kingdom, Gravity the Seducer peaked at number 72 on the UK Albums Chart, spending one week on the chart.[31] This was the band's highest position on the chart, as their only other charting album was Velocifero, which reached number 75.[31]

The album's highest chart position was on the United States' Heatseekers Albums chart, where it peaked at number two.[32] The album reached 112 on the Billboard 200,[32] as well as number 27 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and number six on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart.[32]

Gravity the Seducer reached number 50 on the Finnish Albums Chart, spending one week on the chart;[33] number 90 in the Canadian Albums Chart;[34] and number four on the Belgian Heatseekers Albums Chart, spending a week on that chart.[35]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Ladytron. 

No. Title Length
1. "White Elephant"   4:15
2. "Mirage"   4:21
3. "White Gold"   5:00
4. "Ace of Hz"   3:36
5. "Ritual"   4:17
6. "Moon Palace"   3:26
7. "Altitude Blues"   3:19
8. "Ambulances"   3:16
9. "Melting Ice"   4:48
10. "Transparent Days"   4:01
11. "Ninety Degrees"   4:34
12. "Aces High"   2:54
Total length:
47:47

Gravity the Seducer (Remixed)[edit]

On 29 November 2013, Ladytron released the remix album Gravity the Seducer (Remixed), a collection of remixes of Gravity the Seducer songs. They also will release an exclusive limited-edition blue vinyl of this remix album on Record Store Day special Black Friday.[36]

No. Title Length
1. "White Elephant" (Strange Fruit Remix) 3:43
2. "Mirage" (Mixhell Remix) 4:49
3. "White Gold" (Tarsius Remix) 6:15
4. "Ace of Hz" (Punks Jump Up Remix) 4:53
5. "Ritual" (Reset! Remix) 4:32
6. "Moon Palace" (ARIISK Remix) 3:23
7. "Altitude Blues" (Outfit Remix) 4:51
8. "Ambulances" (Gosteffects Remix) 4:18
9. "Melting Ice" (The Chaotic Good Remix) 5:41
10. "Transparent Days" (SONOIO Remix) 4:20
11. "Ninety Degrees" (Somekong Remix) 6:17
12. "Aces High" (Ladytron Remix) 3:12
Total length:
56:14

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Gravity the Seducer album liner notes.[37]

  • Ladytron – production
  • Daniel Hunt – production
  • Barny Barnicott – additional production, engineering, mixing
  • Alessandro Cortini – additional production
  • Neil Krug – artwork
  • Trevor Tarczynski – design
  • Tim Husom – management

Charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Belgian Heatseekers Albums Chart[35] 4
Canadian Albums Chart[34] 90
Finnish Albums Chart[33] 50
UK Albums Chart[31] 72
US Billboard 200[32] 112
US Dance/Electronic Albums[32] 6
US Heatseekers Albums[32] 2
US Independent Albums[32] 27

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Phares, Heather. "Gravity the Seducer – Ladytron". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Calvert, John (12 September 2011). "Ladytron – Gravity the Seducer". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Bahn, Christopher (13 September 2011). "Ladytron: Gravity The Seducer". The A.V. Club. Onion, Inc. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c Price, Simon (11 September 2011). "Album: Ladytron, Gravity the Seducer (Nettwerk)". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Todd, Chris (9 September 2011). "Ladytron – Gravity The Seducer". Clash. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Carle, Darren (26 May 2011). "Interview: Ladytron's Helen Marnie". The Skinny. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Goldmeier, Jeremy (12 November 2007). "Ladytron hooks up to Nettwerk for new album". Paste. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Phares, Heather. "Velocifero – Ladytron". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Breihan, Tom (1 February 2011). "Ladytron Ready Career Retrospective". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Ladytron: Live at London Astoria 16.07.08. Now on iTunes van Ladytron op Myspace". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  11. ^ "Live at London Astoria 16.07.08 – Ladytron". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Breihan, Tom (31 March 2011). "Ladytron's New Album: Gravity the Seducer". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c "Ladytron – About". ladytron.com. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  14. ^ Nika, Colleen (25 October 2011). "Ladytron Go Glam on New Album". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  15. ^ Gill, Jaime (7 September 2011). "Review of Ladytron – Gravity the Seducer". BBC Music. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Fitzmaurice, Larry (16 May 2011). "New Ladytron: "White Elephants"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  17. ^ Breihan, Tom (6 July 2011). "Ladytron Share New Song Tour Dates". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Ladytron's Concert Listing". Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  19. ^ Breihan, Tom (3 November 2010). "New Ladytron: "Ace of Hz"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  20. ^ "White Elephant – Single by Ladytron". iTunes Store UK. Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "Ambulances – Single by Ladytron". iTunes Store UK. Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  22. ^ "Mirage – Single by Ladytron". iTunes Store UK. Apple Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  23. ^ "Calanais stones in Liverpool band Ladytron's new video". BBC News Online. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  24. ^ "Ladytron Releases Music Video for Single, "Mirage", From 'Gravity the Seducer'". Nettwerk. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  25. ^ a b "Gravity the Seducer – Ladytron". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  26. ^ a b Hann, Michael (8 September 2011). "Ladytron: Gravity the Seducer – review". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  27. ^ a b Crossan, Jamie (6 September 2011). "Album Review: Ladytron – 'Gravity The Seducer'". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Fitzmaurice, Larry (14 September 2011). "Ladytron: Gravity the Seducer". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  29. ^ a b Henderson, Eric (12 September 2011). "Ladytron: Gravity the Seducer". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Walters, Barry (13 September 2011). "Ladytron, 'Gravity the Seducer' (Nettwerk)". Spin. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  31. ^ a b c "LADYTRON". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  32. ^ a b c d e f g "Gravity the Seducer – Ladytron". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  33. ^ a b "Gravity The Seducer – Gravity The Seducer". IFPI Finland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  34. ^ a b "Top 100 Albums in Canada". Nielsen SoundScan. CANOE. 22 September 2011. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  35. ^ a b "Gravity The Seducer – Gravity The Seducer" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  36. ^ "RECORD STORE DAY - SpecialRelease". 
  37. ^ Gravity the Seducer (CD liner notes). Ladytron. Nettwerk. 2011. 30924-2.