La Roux – Trouble in Paradise (Polydor, 2014)
I wasn’t in the original La Roux obsessed crowd when the English duo’s self-titled debut came out in 2009. It was a situation of I get it but I’m not in that state of mind right now, musically or mentally (let’s be honest, there’s an almost 100% overlap there at all times).
So my view on ‘Trouble in Paradise’ is completely unburdened of comparisons with the award-winning, chart-topping, universally highly rated and critically acclaimed first album (once again, I get it, just wasn’t me at the time).
Meanwhile, La Roux has went from being a duo to the impossibly cool, tildaswintonesque, davidbowiesque Elly Jackson as a solo artist, and now, as if to fix the imbalance that was caused by my 2009 oversight, ‘Trouble in Paradise’ is exactly what I wanted to listen to.
In other words, I love it! With an exclamation mark.
‘Trouble in Paradise’ combines the best qualities of synths, pop, disco, fun and warmth but at the same time sounds neither dated, nor shallow.
Once you’ve had a dance around the house and tapped your feet on the tube or under the desk in the office to the beach-y sounding, 80s-sprinkled pop anthems like ‘Kiss and Not Tell’ and ‘Tropical Chancer’, or to ‘Uptight Downtown’s Nile Rogers-y riff, you’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy the always complicated stories of love even more.
I think I’m right when I say that every fellow queer of the rainbow will understand ‘Cruel Sexuality’ while every fellow human being of Earth will understand ‘Let me Down Gently’.
The upbeat anxiety of ‘Silent Partner’ makes me wish I had a reality show so that it could be its musical theme while the catchiness of ‘Sexotheque’ turns the classic cheating guy story into something fresh and new.
Of course, maybe this time is not your time, mentally or musically, for ‘Trouble in Paradise’.
Regardless, it’s a great album and you should have it in mind, just in case.
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