Helen Marnie, better known as the main voice of frosty synthpop outfit Ladytron, recently took a break from her day job to deliver her first solo album, Crystal World. On paper, this seems like a good move because after four albums ranging in quality from solid to exceptional, Ladytron finally released their first dud in 2011 with Gravity The Seducer. Unfortunately, Crystal World doesn’t do much to fix the group’s recent shortage of ideas. That said, there is one moment that reminds me of the past glory that made me fall in love with Helen in the first place. “Sugarland” has just the right mix of ingredients to get our hairs standing on end: Ominous bass, frozen synths, echoing guitars, and Marnie’s determined yet somehow still indifferent voice in command of the whole operation. After a verse and a half, this mysterious, theremin-like noise drops into place and Marnie begins mirroring herself just enough to bring things up to another level. The album may not match the high standards we’re used to from our Scottish songstress, but at least “Sugarland” is helping me remain hopeful for her next attempt.