WARNING : If you were hoping for another ‘Bulletproof’, this is not the album for you.
‘Trouble In Paradise’ is, in some ways, both a perfect and misleading title for La Roux’s second album. It reflects founding member/producer Ben Langmaid departing the band, as well as the five-year wait between albums. It also reflects the juxtaposition between the music’s sunny European sound and darker lyrics.
It’s a complete musical departure for the former duo turned solo act.
First single ‘Uptight Downtown’ sounds like a Scissor Sisters single from the early 1980s and the other eight tracks follow a similar template.
‘Kiss And Not Tell’ is a cheeky synth-pop stormer perfect for summer. Elsewhere, the seven minute-long ‘Silent Partner’ sounds like the soundtrack to a 1980s video arcade game whereas ‘Let Me Down Gently’ is a dreamy synth ballad.
We particularly like ‘Sexotheque’ which explores infidelity over a funky disco beat.
At only nine tracks, ‘Trouble in Paradise’ is a short affair, but each track makes sense in its own way. The only real issue we have is that we’re not sure all nine tracks could stand up by themselves but as a package, they balance each other out.
For instance, the Grace Jones sample in ‘Tropical Chancer’ is a bit too camp but it is balanced out by the somber ballad ‘Paradise is You’.
All in all, it’s a brave second outing for Ms. Elly Jackson. Don’t get us wrong, we probably would have loved another ‘Bulletproof’ on here but you have got to give her credit for taking her time and playing around with her sound.
The results are refreshing and consistent, though perhaps just a bit too kitsch for their own good.
Download : Uptight Downtown, Sexotheque.