Trouble In Paradise (LP)


La Roux

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Amoeba Review

07/04/2014

English synthpop artist La Roux (aka Elly Jackson) broke through in a huge way with her 2009 self-titled album and its accompanying ubiquitous club hits like “Bulletproof.” Trouble in Paradise comes five years later, after Jackson says she was unprepared for fame and lost her voice due to anxiety and producer/collaborator Ben Langmaid left due to artistic differences. Inspired by the likes of Grace Jones and Tom Tom Club, Jackson turns to classic post-disco new wave as a jumping-off point for her own brand of idiosyncratic yet firmly millennial pop. She stomps through "Uptight Downtown" with a digital marching band of echoed out horns and funk guitars while she leads the steady beat with a breathy but charismatic coo. On songs like "Kiss and Not Tell," she ditches the disco to engage in the sort of buoyant new weird pop that bands like Passion Pit, St. Vincent and MGMT have made popular over the past few years, and not surprisingly, her style works miracles here, keeping the whimsical keyboard melodies and synth geysers grounded with her hooky delivery. Throughout, Jackson remains chilled out yet plugged in, unleashing deep synth grooves on tracks like "Tropical Chancer" and "Silent Partner" that hit harder than the pulsating club beats of before. There's even a great summery power ballad with "Paradise Is You," whose gauzy synthesizers, gentle piano and soft vocals excuse some clumsy lyrics ("the palm trees make it feel like a paradise, but without you, there’s nothing nice") and wrap around you like a warm summer breeze. It's great to hear Jackson play so fast and loose here, taking on the recreated coke-fueled '80s L.A. sound of artists like Glass Candy with the sultry "Let Me Down Gently." It's as though the success of artists like Robyn and Sky Ferreira have enabled her to show her true colors and aim for the heart and head as well as the dancefloor. By having it both ways, Trouble in Paradise is truly an infectious listen, start to finish.



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Uptight Downtown
La Roux 04:22
2.
Kiss and Not Tell
La Roux 03:54
3.
Cruel Sexuality
La Roux 04:15
4.
Paradise Is You
La Roux 05:12
5.
Sexotheque
La Roux 04:19


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Tropical Chancer
La Roux 03:32
2.
Silent Partner
La Roux 07:01
3.
Let Me Down Gently
La Roux 05:40
4.
The Feeling
La Roux 04:06

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Also available in: CD
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