La Roux is a relatively new British electropop duo. Their debut, eponymous album, released earlier this year, is a chirpy, synth-riddled album, and it’s a joy to listen to. It’s reminiscent of ’80s new wave music, as well as recent offerings such as Röyksopp’s “Junior”.
Here’s a track by track look.
In For The Kill – The second single released. It should be worrying that a track on the subject of murder is such a jolly tune, but it’s definitely a toe-tapping start to the album. Catchy, too.
Tigerlily – Has some annoying shouty bits. The song is pretty beaty, and the non-shouty parts are pleasant to listen to.
Quicksand – The first single, which was released on a smaller label prior to the album’s release. The chorus has a really nice melody. Less keen on the vocals – would be interesting to hear an instrumental version to see if a lack of vocals improved it.
Bulletproof – Third single, and the first La Roux song I heard. The start reminded me of, coincidentally, Röyksopp’s “Remind Me” (video remix). The moment Jackson started singing, it stopped reminding me of Röyksopp. The vocals, while initially seeming out of style with the melody, works, and the chorus is very catchy. The music video is also rather awesome for this song (see below).
Colourless Colour – The beginning makes this sound like a sad song, but the chorus seems more uplifting. The contrast works and makes this the sort of tune that would go underappreciated. One of the strong points of the album.
I’m Not Your Toy – …and this is the strongest song. The fourth, and at time of writing latest, single from the album, I’m Not Your Toy, with one of the catchiest choruses I’ve heard in a long time, and one particular repeated lyric that also stuck in my mind “It’s all false love and affection, you don’t like me, you just want the attention” – not because of its meaning, it just seemed to hit some weird bit of brain that made me want to remember it. Love it.
Cover My Eyes – One of the sadder songs on the album. Also acts as a demonstration of Elly Jackson’s vocal skill, something that’s not essential in electropop but what the hey. Well made song.
As If By Magic – “It’s like the rest of the album” would suffice. I’ll summarise what that encompasses though – chirpy, enjoyable, catchy. Contains an “oooo-oo-oo-ooo” bit (there’s probably a technical term for that) that shot a shiver down my spine upon first listen.
Fascination – Probably the least memorable track on the album, but still decent. Takes advantage of the abundance of “____ation” words in the English language to decent effect… notably “frustration”.
Reflections Are Protection – Mixes a haunting bassline with gleeful lyrics to good effect. Chorus, as standard, is catchy.
Armour Love – This, along with “Colourless Colour”, makes me wonder if La Roux wanted to include a couple of songs purely to take advantage of British ways of spelling certain words. Of all the songs on the album this is the most “different”. Sounds a little like a choir song which they stuck a synth in for good measure.
Growing Pains – The last song on the album is also… pretty average in comparison to the other songs. Disregarding the chorus of course, which is the standard, catchy affair.
So, overall, a strong initial offering by La Roux. The worst part of this album is it raises a question mark as to where to go next. The band has stated they’re in no hurry to make a second album – when they do, hopefully they’ll be ready to match or better the quality of their first.