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Witching Hour

Price: CDN$ 12.17
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 17 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner
  • ASIN: B000AY9ON0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,971 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. High Rise
2. Destroy Everything You Touch
3. International Dateline
4. Soft Power
6. amTV
7. Sugar
8. Fighting In Built Up Areas
9. The Last One Standing
10. Weekend
11. Beauty*2
12. White Light Generator
13. All The Way

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Format: LP Record Verified Purchase
The original pressing of Witching Hour was the first lp I bought that was labeled as 180 gram vinyl. It is also the worst sounding record I own; the surface noise is really unbearable. It irks me that a record company would spend more on heavier vinyl at the expense of quality control, but for them I suppose it's primarily a marketing gimmick. I am very happy now, seven years later, that this amazing album has been reissued on vinyl. It does not weigh 180 grams, but it sounds excellent. Thank you Nettwerk!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Leroux on Oct. 6 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm a big fan of Ladytron, and have been for a while, and this record is such a wonderful surprise. Witching not only captures and builds upon many of the traits that I love about Ladytron's sound (whispy, ethereal, and haunting melodies and vocals pumped through wonderfully poppy and dancy synth sensibilities) and expands upon them beautifully. This record is so much richer and more thoughtful it seems then the previous 604 and Light and Magic (and I still adore those records), but still retains that breazy but moving sound that won me over to Ladytron years ago, so as you can imagine, Witching Hour has made me a happy boy.
This record is also more dark and moody in tone than their previous work. 'Destroy Everything you Touch' and and 'International Dateline' are particularly amazing tracks, and really reflect their evolution in this direction. Imagine the the tone of previous tracks like 'Skool's Out...' from 604 or 'The Reason Why' or 'Evil' from Light and Magic, but done more consistently over a whole record, and with a more orgnanic and less mechanical sounding approach, and you might get an idea of Witching Hour's overall tone.
Another great surprise is that Helen Marnie's voice is brought much more to the surface in Witching Hour, no longer buried under as much synthy haze as before, and she sounds more full, more immediate, and yet, more ghostly than ever. Just beautiful.
For everyone else, now's as good a time as ever to finally check Ladytron out with Witching Hour!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 53 reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Where's Mira? Oct. 5 2005
By Jessica Winney - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is in some ways a step up for Ladytron and in some ways a step down, depending upon how one chooses to look at it. On the positive side, "Witching Hour" is warmer and more mysterious than anything they have previously done. The soundscapes are incredibly lush and sweeping while also dense and fuzzy. This makes for a very interesting listening experience and Helen Marnie's vocals are better than ever. She sounds almost surreal, particularly on "International Dateline" and "Beauty*2". In a word, WOW. On the negative side, Mira Aroyo is featured on only two tracks and her presence is not nearly as prominent on this album as it was on previous albums. I have always thought that the interplay between her thick, Bulgarian vocals and Marnie's sweeter, more melodic vocals really gave Ladytron an edge. While Marnie has the voice to carry the album herself, she sounds better when complemented by Aroyo and similarly, Aroyo sounds better when backed by Marnie. Aroyo has always been less vocally prominent than Marnie and on this album she is almost non-existent. One fears that she will disappear into the background as Marnie takes over as the frontwoman of the band. My only other complaint is that I can't quite figure out the hidden track. This album contains a "hidden" 14th track, yet it is nothing but nine minutes of silence. Perhaps this is supposed to be symbolic? Who knows? "Witching Hour" is otherwise a very strong effort and an album that rewards repeated listening. It is definitely on my top ten list of albums released in 2005.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Icy cool, 21st century pop Dec 6 2005
By cagey - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is my first purchase of a Ladytron album, actually my first purchase of anything of theirs, since I've only been a very casual fan since their beginning. I've really only heard their singles "He Took Her To The Movies" and "Seventeen". There is much more material on "Witching Hour" that grabs you at first listen, though. The songs may have more melody, for the most part. So it's not surprising that fans of their earlier work may feel jilted by their new pop accessibility (although I felt the early singles were accessible as well) or the disappearance of any existing eccentricities.

The single "Destroy Everything You Touch" has a driving dance beat reminiscent of the 80's hits of Depeche Mode or New Order. I couldn't stop playing this after I downloaded it from iTunes. Then you notice the other songs and practically everything has something to offer. There are no tracks that I skip (not counting the final silent track). Songs like "Sugar" and "Weekend" are the kind I love playing LOUD speeding down a dark highway. "Beauty*2" has a fragile, haunting quality to it and I wish it didn't end so soon. "International Dateline" is another that stays in my head days after I hear it. The whole album is well produced and SOUNDS great.

I would place this as probably my favorite album of 2005 after Thievery Corporation's "The Cosmic Game". I have no reason not check out Ladytron's earlier releases after hearing this stunning album. **** 1/2 stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Just Right... Warm, Dense & Electric... Jan. 16 2006
By Rafael Cova - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The atmosphere of this record is electric and dark at the same time, beautiful at times and noisy and disturbing at others, like all the best records should be. "Witching Hour" is an album that reaches further than its predecessors: warm and dense, there is a feeling of susceptible magic wrapped within all tracks.

Witching Hour achieves a certain timelessness. Sure, these songs betray the inspiration of three decades of electronic pop, but none of them touch long enough to leave a fingerprint. Instead, Ladytron's warm songs sound new, retro and familiar without ever letting on that they've ever listened to synth-pop before.

The artful blend of darkness and warmth ultimately proves to be the record's best asset; it's a delicate balance, but Ladytron gets it just right.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Perfect for any dark, sexy night Nov. 8 2005
By Kate Estwing - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Ladytron's third album, Witching Hour (Ryko), is something witches of yore might listen to, just as vampires might choose to feast on one of Portisehead's albums.
At first I waved this album off as an electro-clone, wondering if the monotonous girl vocals would ever leave this Fischerspooner-dominated genre. But after subsequent listens, I rebuked the comparison, and realized that not only are there some hidden gems on Witching Hour, this also isn't everyday electro: a healthy dose of indie rock creeps between the brooding dance tracks. Therefore it wasn't a big surprise to find that Jim Abiss (Placebo, DJ Shadow) produced the album.
Synths, humming basslines, and imposing beats don't leave much room for a change of pace. But when you're done with the distortion and droning vocals, so are they. The quartet of two girls and two guys from Liverpool can shake hips on "High Rise," give bar DJs a disturbingly sexy brew of German (?) lyrics to drool over on "Fighting in Built Up Areas," and perk up the lo-fi listeners' ears with "Beauty*2."

Witching Hour is in fact an apt title, in addition to the band's name, a sort of woman robot. But go ahead, let them put you under their spell. When I turn the CD off I'm no toad or rabbit, although I do feel like prowling a bar with a costume on...
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
WITCHING HOUR is LADYTRON's finest to date Oct. 10 2005
By Demetri A. Moshoyannis - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I've been following LADYTRON since I saw the video for "Playgirl" in early 2001. Upon buying 604, I knew that the band was destined for big things with the synth-based '80s sounds that at once mimicked and simultaneously outshined anything ever done by the likes of Depeche Mode, the Human League or Visage. As a collection of early tracks, 604 sparked a musical movement of '80s-inspired electro-rock that we are still experiencing a la The Killers, Interpol, The Bravery and others. By Fall 2002, we were treated to Light & Magic, a more polished collection of LADYTRON songs that not only avoided the 'sophomore slump' but managed to impress critics worldwide, ending up on Rolling Stone's Top 50 albums of the year. And, honestly, who could resist the cross-over synthetic appeal of tracks like club hit "Seventeen," the '60s pop inspired "Blue Jeans," electro-dance favorite "Evil," and the lush title track?

Fast forward to Witching Hour (2005). After switching labels in 2004, the band set out to make a record that incorporated a broader range of influences. If the first two records took cues from Kraftwerk, then Witching Hour takes its leads from the likes of The Kinks and My Bloody Valentine ("Sugar"), New Order ("Destroy Everything You Touch"), Lush ("WhiteLightGenerator"), and the Cocteau Twins ("All The Way"). Don't get me wrong: This album is NOT about LADYTRON trying to do its best to rip off anyone else. They take these influences and make them distinctly their own; each track is quintessential LADYTRON. It's a well produced concept album that takes you on a dark journey from start to finish. Witching Hour is successful in that it displays the breadth of the band's talents, now incorporating guitars and a rougher, edgier sound (think feedback and fuzzy electronic overlays). At times, the band can even be political ("Soft Power") without hitting you over the head and can craft the most ominous of dance tracks ("Fighting In Built Up Areas"), sure to be a goth favorite.

What works most about the album is that it appears that LADYTRON have finally produced a record that speaks to a wide range of the band members' personal musical influences. Produced by Jim Abbiss (Kasabian, Placebo), Witching Hour will appeal to a broader audience than just the electroclash set. Granted, there are tracks that are planted firmly in that camp ("Weekend") but other songs stretch the band to its creative limits, offering us a chance to hear what a proper LADYTRON ballad sounds like ("Beauty*2"). What's refreshing is that all of these seemingly different tracks sound great from start to finish - mostly due to the strong vocals offered by Helen Marnie. She is at her most mature and confident on Witching Hour. And while Mira Aroyo only takes the lead on a couple of tracks ("AMTV" and "Fighting In Built Up Areas"), her performance is solid as well. By the way, Mira also offers up the lead vocals on one of the best LADYTRON Bsides to date, the flipside of "Destroy Everything You Touch" called "Nothing To Hide." Check it out.

And, for those people who've been asking about why Track 14 is nothing but dead airtime, well just look at the running time of the album, 60:02. That's almost exactly one hour - a witching hour, if you will. While you make think that's silly or misleading, it's the kind of attention to detail that makes Witching Hour one of the strongest indie-electro-rock records of the decade. Everyone should own this album, in my opinion. And, so far, everyone that I've suggested it to has loved it immensely. Perhaps you will too. LADYTRON at their best!!!

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