La Roux: La Roux

RIYL: Eurythmics, Little Boots, Róisín Murphy

Already hugely popular on the other side of the pond, Britain’s La Roux – otherwise known as singer Elly Jackson and her synth-playing partner Ben Langmaid – might sound strongly familiar to pop fans with long memories: with an androgynous red-haired singer and a fondness for icy, clanking beats, they seem – visually, anyway – like the musical offspring of early-period Eurythmics. But where that band drew its heat from the spark generated from the collision of white soul and new wave synthcraft, La Roux stays on the dance floor, nestling Jackson’s thin, fluttery vocals in between a buzzing, whirring electropop army that sounds like it was stolen from the Human League’s synthesizer banks. All that artificial noise can get a little tiresome after a while – new wave did get old, after all – but La Roux walks the fine line between homage and pastiche by serving up a bevy of fresh-sounding, booty-shaking singles that sound equally at home in the clubs or on the Top 40.

The album’s first four tracks – “In for the Kill,” “Tigerlily,” “Quicksand,” and “Bulletproof” – are airtight, flawlessly catchy hits in waiting; in fact, “In for the Kill” and “Bulletproof” have been pretty much inescapable in the UK for months. Whether American audiences will respond is another story (ask La Roux’s Stateside labelmate Robyn about how hard it is to cross over as a dance artist in the U.S.), but however it goes down on the charts, this is an auspicious debut. (Cherry Tree 2009)

La Roux MySpace page


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