Whether you like or hate the electroclash label it seems to attach itself to Ladytron and every other contemporary that they are paired with. Of that genre, I believe this is the best album so far, better than Ladytron's own '604', better than Fischerspooner's catchy, buzz-worthy '#1' and stronger than anything that Chicks On Speed, Adult or Peaches have churned out. Ladytron is the class of the bunch. Their sound is an updated version of 80's electro post-punk/new wave infused with a punk, so-what type of attitude without the juvenile outbursts of anger. Influences clearly lie in the vein of Depeche Mode, New Order, Kraftwerk, Visage and forth - a perfect line could be drawn to the seemingly forgotten femme electronic new wave band Book of Love... all electroclash bands ought to honor these overlooked and very good electro-femmes.
Ladytron's music sounds somewhat cold without ever feeling clinical or contrived. The vocals, sung by 2 females, tend to be flat and emotionally detached while remaining infectiously catchy and sexy. If Ladytron did a surprise club gig they could play under the name Sexy Robots (Ladytron, if you read this you can use that free of charge). The beat has been turned up from '604', enough so that you could put this in the industrial lite bucket (for those of you who still think industrial means harsh and violent, get a clue - industrial bands nowadays tend to be supercharged 80's new wave combining laser sharp synths, pounding beats and a strong sense of melody totally absent in so-called techno... the vocals aren't even distorted anymore).
The second track "Seventeen" is an obvious single with its burrow-its-way-into-your-brain chorus and pleasant rhythm; the song is an attack on modern fashion-crazy, youth-obsessed culture and its treatment of humans as disposable props. The odd thing is that Ladytron themselves are tragically fashionable, almost annoyingly hip and seem to be very happy with their fashion-for-the-moment image; this is a simple observation rather than an outright criticism. "Flicking Your Switch" is another favorite, telling the story of a woman wondering if she has betrayed her man's trust after stealing his credit card and going on a shameless, downtown shopping spree - funny and clever. "Turn It On" is a minimal, mostly instrumental song awash in ambience. The sparse "Cracked LCD" is the ultimate in robot pop, clean and distant. "Black Plastic" and "Blue Jeans" contain the closest thing to sung vocals on the album. The major single is "Evil" featuring devilish hooks and a fluid chorus. Another item of interest in "NuHorizons" sung in Mira's native Bulgarian.
`Light & Magic' is a required disc for fans of electronic music. If you are willing to stray a bit from pure electroclash, I'd suggest checking out 2 other excellent female-led electronic acts: Epsilon Minus and Android Lust... great band names too.