No Trouble for La Roux’s Trouble in Paradise

La Roux has finally released their second studio album on July 18th through Polydor Records, five years after the successful release of their self-titled first album. Trouble in Paradise is Elly Jackson‘s first album as La Roux by herself after her former band member Ben Langmaid parted. In his place, Ian Sherwin helped write and produce many of the nine track album, including the opening “Uptight Downtown“.

The music on the first track is very dancy and has the fun vibe associated with La Roux, but the lyrics are more melancholy. It is easy to visualize an extremely populated city like New York bustling with everyone trying to attract attention like it’s a competition, with lyrics like How could all these people have so much to prove, and Why are we fighting/I don’t understand. This could be a slight representation of the breakup of Jackson and Langmaid as a group, which was reportedly caused by artistic difference and being on unfriendly terms.

The instrumental minimalism at the beginning of “Cruel Sexuality” sounds slightly like the Interludes from Paramore‘s self-titled album. The lack of complication in the instrumentals allows Jackson to showcase her lovely voice. The trance-like keys keeps it dreamy and calm. The sexy song gets into dreaming about the someone you lust after, without getting dirty or explicit which is really rare these days.

The best love song on the album is “Paradise Is You“. It is so sweet and tender that it’s unlike anything La Roux has put out yet. There’s nothing more one can add to the lyrics And the palm trees make it feel like paradise/But without you here there’s nothing nice/’Cos in your eyes/That’s my paradise to portray deep love.

Tropical Chancer” gets groovy in a minor key. It’s about being used by a lover, but the music is funky and fun to get down to. Jackson’s airy tones in this track are like smoke on the dance floor in a disco. Jackson’s upper range is strong in “The Feeling” where most of the song was airy and breathy, almost like falsetto. This cute love song talks about the feeling that happens when you wake up next to the person you love. It’s completely relatable and the airiness adds to the early morning, still hazy perception.

Regardless of all the drama, Trouble in Paradise is solid and Jackson did a good job working with Sherman in the production. The overall tone of the album is more mature and soothing than the first album. There’s many tropical references that make this album perfect for the summer while you’re chilling under a shady tree with a big glass of chilled adult beverage.

1 Comment

  1. Samantha Sweeney

    July 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I am so excited to be listening! I love La Roux!

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