Ladybug Transistor Can't Wait Another Day

The Ladybug Transistor have made some great baroque pop albums in the past. It takes guts to make music as dramatic as theirs, and the Ladybug Transistor are appealing because they embrace their pussy influences without acting pretentious or covering up their insecurities with obnoxious theatre geek gimmicks. Can’t Wait Another Day seems shy compared to their earlier, more grandiose material. Gary Olson, the band’s chief Scott Walker-weaned crooner, isn’t holding his notes as long as on Argyle Heir, and the band’s orchestra sweeps, once placed at the forefront, now provide accompaniment for relatively conventional pop songs. There’s nothing wrong with a good pop song, and horns, strings and smooth baritone vocals can add a lot to one. As previously stated, not a lot of bands have the courage to make music as openhearted and ornamental as the Ladybug Transistor have, however, the band are not as good at writing punchy pop songs as they are at creating dreamy arrangements. All is not lost: for every generic verse on Can’t Wait there’s a beautiful chorus; every song has at least a few pretty flourishes; and some tracks are just great, through and through. This is far from a bad album — in fact, it’s pretty good — it’s just somewhat disappointing to see the band shrink away from the unabashed joyfulness they once made their own. High expectations aside, the Ladybug Transistor have still made a very nice record. (Merge)