Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Album Review: Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke

Helen Of Troy… has been loving Ladyhawke since we first heard her gloriously retro 1980s electro-pop back in spring. It's understandable, if a little embarrassing, then, that when we got our grubby little mitts on Pip Brown's eponymous début album, we were filled with the kind of giddy excitement usually reserved for 13-year-old girls.

Perhaps the reason for this regression is that Ladyhawke, Ladyhawke could have easily been released when we were young snood and cycling short-wearing whippersnappers. The album pays homage to so many great bands and artists of the 1980s that sometimes it's difficult to know where Pip's record collection ends and the New Zealand singer-songwriter starts. Opening track Magic sounds like Depeche Mode fronted by Cyndi Lauper and Another Runaway is incredibly reminiscent of The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star. The Pet Shop Boys, Hall & Oates and Stevie Nicks also show up at this 1980s soft-rock/electro-pop party.

Happily, although Ladyhawke wears her influences like a battered Bananarama badge, this album is much more than tired pastiche. Singles Paris Is Burning, Back Of the Van and Dusk Till Dawn are still utterly brilliant and there are a few hidden gems that grow with each listen. Oh My is delightfully multilayered and Professional Suicide is a dirty-beated treat. Ladyhawke might not have blown our pop socks off with her début effort, but this is an album filled with real promise. She's playing at The Roadhouse in October, and we can't wait to see how these songs sound stripped of the almost slavish 1980s production. We have a feeling it might be brilliant enough to bring our waning teenage giddiness back.


Released on: 22/09/08 Label: Modular


Adem With An E said...

Ace review. Have you heard the iTunes bonus track "Danny & Jenny"? Amazing stuff.

Helen of... said...

We heard it for the first time last night at her gig - when I say heard it I mean barely :S There seemed to be some problems with the vocals. Sounded good though.