“Trouble In Paradise” La Roux


La Roux

Trouble In Paradise Album Review

Polydor Records

Released July 18, 2014

Genre: Synthpop, Pop, New Wave, 80s-Synth-Disco-Groovy-Nostalgic-Anachronistic-Wonder


You should never, ever EVER disregard an artist just because of their past hit single, especially one that once plagued airwaves. Who knows? Maybe they’ll improve on their next album/single? Or even better: an entirely different yet familiar territory to tread. Artists naturally change things up a bit. Imagine a band doing the same style over and over again. The whole fan-base will get bored and leave; change is necessary and inevitable. The artist I’m talking about is La Roux, and the song: “Bulletproof”. Now that isn’t to say that the change isn’t drastic in her music, it’s still within the realm of electronic pop, but this time she has more impressive instrumentation, lyrics, and production.

Part of Trouble In Paradise’s magic is in its ability to recapture the perky, crisp, and cheerful magic of 80s synth-pop; the firs two tracks groove with ease, offering slick guitar strums and reverb, along with some cheerful synths to top things off. With all these elements brought in, Trouble In Paradise seems instantly familiar, which is fine, if you want like your synth-pop pure and untampered with. But hearing this type of music in 2014 seems anachronistic at times, considering the evolution of electronic music in today’s culture (see EDM/dubstep/trance).

La Roux is, well was, composed of two figures: singer Elly Jackson and producer Ben Langmaid. Langmaid left, forcing Jackson to go about the project alone, and in many ways, this benefited her. I may not be the best La Roux fan, but from my experiences, Jackson’s lyrics cover the topics of love and curiosity. And after this departure, along with some years in between the two albums, Trouble In Paradise may seem to be the most apt title of all

Trouble explores the rockier side of love in a much deeper way, delivering brightly colored tracks that overflow with sentimentalism, dramatic delivery, and instrumental variety. There are the crisp synths on “Kiss And Not Tell”, but by “Paradise Is You”, lush strings bring in a very dramatic presentation of want and need. “Sexoteque” brings in funky and catchy hooks while the tempo switch-up on “Tropical Chancer” keeps the album from being redundant. “Silent Partner” is easily a dramatic yet impressive diss to Langmaid; the track is also the most 80s core song on the album, so if this seems familiar for you, I won’t be surprised.

But one of the most important aspects to gather from this album is empowerment; Jackson has become wiser and smarter. Don’t go into this album looking for a “Bulletproof” replacement or for an artist transformation. Instead, expect an artist strongly producing eight tracks that, for the most part, teem with power, brilliance, and wisdom. With that, you’re all set to make it through the thick and thin.


FAV TRACKS: Uptight Downtown, Kiss And Not Tell, Cruel Sexuality, Paradise IS You, Silent Partner, Let Me Down Gently


Score: (8.4/10)

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