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La Roux is the self-titled debut album from the London electropop duo made up of singer Elly Jackson and producer Ben Langmaid. I bought the album after hearing and liking a number of their singles, and I also saw them at Glastonbury in 2010, where they put on a good show. The album won the Best Electronic/Dance Album award at the Grammys in 2011. The album is heavily influenced by 80s synth-pop, and it's full of tremendously catchy retro tunes. Singles In for the Kill, in which singer Elly determinedly states "I'm going in for the kill" in her high-pitched voice, and Bulletproof which has plenty of attitude, are highlights. I'm Not Your Toy, with its jaunty rhythm, is also catchy while Fascination offers a more melodic foray into 80s pop. I also like Growing Pains, which is very catchy. Colourless Colour and Cover My Eyes are slightly repetitive and dull, but on the whole the album is great and the songs work together really well. Track Listing 1. In for the Kill 2. Tigerlily 3. Quicksand 4. Bulletproof 5. Colourless Colour 6. I'm Not Your Toy 7. Cover My Eyes 8. As If By Magic 9. Fascination 10. Reflections Are Protection 11. Armour Love 12. Growing Pains I really like this album but I can't always listen to the whole thing at once as Elly's voice, while good, is very high-pitched and can grate after a while. I'm also wondering how the band will move on from this album. At some point they're going to have to diversify from the whole 80s electro-pop thing. Nevertheless, as far as this album in particular is concerned, they've done a great job.
The emerging artist La Roux shows how boring her type of music is when not releasing catchy radio songs in this debut album. This electro-pop album, with chart hits such as "In For The Kill", are okay for getting you to sing along. However, most of it can be very repetitive and dull. I have to say that I am definitely not a fan of La Roux or her album after hearing it. Her voice is way too electropopy and seems autotuned for my taste, with way too much hype around her. Her songs are pretty simple as well as the lyrics and there is nothing really that interesting about her music. Everything is way too similar to each other in her album! I would attempt at doing a song by song analysis of her album but I think I would find myself writing the same thing over and over again, so I will just do a couple of her famous and tolerable songs. Bulletproof This is what is known as her "breakthrough" song and was found to be overplayed on the radio for a couple of weeks after its release. It is the song that I find most tolerable by her, and while not the best my music standards, it is the best from La Roux. It is described as electro pop and would be considered pretty catchy as it has a standard beat throughout which keeps the tempo up and going. It rarely changes though so the song stays pretty much the same all the way through even in the chorus, which is probably the catchiest part of the song. In For The Kill This is another song that managed to become a chart topper, and it is an okay song. It was however, replayed to the death on the radio, which makes me dislike it more. However, for the first three plays it can be tolerable and I would say it's an okay song to have in the car for short journeys. Once again it is still an electropop sound, so it shows that she doesn't really try different music styles in her album. Below is the track list for one of the most dull albums to grace the existance of music: 1. In for the Kill 2. Tigerlily 3. Quicksand 4. Bulletproof 5. Colourless Colour 6. I'm Not Your Toy 7. Cover My Eyes 8. As If By Magic 9. Fascination 10. Reflections Are Protection 11. Armour Love I would say it is probably best to just buy her singles, rather than the album. Also, it is not an album you can enjoy for hours on end, as it will annoy you after about 30 minutes.At times, the style is quite repetitive and annoying, as many of the songs sound the same. Although, her big hits are catchy, many of her songs never try to be different or best her previous songs.
Once amusingly dubbed "Jedward for those who hate music" by Charlie Brooker, La Roux's eponymous debut album is a fine bit of modern synth/electro-pop. Androgynous, scary-haired Elly Jackson (vocals, keyboards) and Ben Langmaid (keyboards) pay homage to the likes of The Eurythmics and Heaven 17 whilst distinguishing themselves from other so-called "eighties revivalists" through their grasp of the most basic (though frequently overlooked) aspects of pop-craft. Their knack for simple 'n' smart compositions mean catchy songs are in strong supply. Opener and breakthrough single "In For The Kill" embodies this. Paradoxically cold yet catchy, it matches stark, warbling electronics with a superb, crunching beat, ably backed by a strong chorus and energetic vocals from Jackson. It establishes a blueprint that the album adheres to thereafter, focusing on highly basic instrumentation and stripped-down synths, whilst mixing foot-tapping tempos and thoughtful lyrics to mostly positive effect. Elly Jackson's voice is perhaps the albums chief weakness; those who have heard her duet with Heaven 17 on a version of the admittedly-impossible-to-do-well-live disco classic "Temptation" will know there are definite limits to her vocal range. However, while there are a few songs that end up sounding shrill (harming the likes of "I'm Not Your Toy" and "Fascination"), her voice is, in the main, put to intelligent use. Indeed, the mix of her oft-harsh, indie-like tones and the abrasive, simplistic production make the success of "La Roux" as a mainstream pop album all the more unusual. Simplicity does have its perils; the legacy of "In For The Kill" can be heard a little too clearly in the tracks that follow it, with "Tigerlily" reprising its tune and "Quicksand" mimicking the drum beat (albeit at slightly different speeds). Nevertheless, a few listens see them stand well enough on their own merits, particularly the latter; the first of several tales on the perils of love. The uncertain urgency of the lyrics: "What's my position? I don't understand/Am I your possession? Am I in demand?/Oh when you turn to me, I'm in the quicksand" is more potent in light of the rousing, punchy electronics that dominate its chorus. From there on in, things start to branch out with a greater variety of moods and tempos, which drift between melancholic and boisterous with an accomplished ease. "Bulletproof" is an unashamedly fun sing-along pop song, with its lively mix of retro synth-bops and frantic verses making for a great ode to La Roux's eighties forebears. Jackson's super-charged delivery and go-getter message: "Been there, done that, messed around/I'm having fun, don't put me down/I'll never let you sweep me off my feet" together with an instantly memorable one-line chorus mean its dancefloor credentials are impeccably observed, and thus its perhaps no surprise the song was a #1 hit. The mid-latter stages of the album host a couple of crackers. "Cover My Eyes" sees a slow, dream-like and exceptionally pretty tune elevated by a great choir accompaniment and what is easily Jackson's best vocal performance. The songs opening lines: "No wonder I'm scared, to look in your eyes/you've turned me away, so many times/you can take it away, at any given moment/It's hard to believe, while you're in this disguise" are so earnest in their delivery that its hard not to be drawn into by a song with such a personal quality to it. It's followed by "As If By Magic", which skilfully shifts the theme of unrequited love from heartbreak towards pragmatic acceptance. The slow, deep electronic warps give the song an alluring quality, one of emotional hollowness, but La Roux again avoid the trap of sounding dull through the hum-along sound and eloquent lyrical musings. The remaining songs don't disgrace themselves, even if they fail to hit the earlier highs. "Reflections Are Protection" features clipped, funky verses that are let down by a slightly flat chorus, which lacks an immediacy apparent in previous tracks, whilst "Armour Love" is a solid if unspectacular slow one to finish. Still, for a debut, there's an impressive consistency to "La Roux", even if Jackson's piercing pitch mean it's not an easy, listen-at-length type of record. What they'll try next from a thematic point of view is tough to gauge, but there's enough evidence here to indicate that Jackson and Langmaid know what goes into making a good pop song, and thus will have a say in how the genre takes shape in years to come. STANDOUT TRACKS: Bulletproof; Cover My Eyes; In For The Kill MEMORABLE LYRIC: As If By Magic: "Blurring all your words until they don't exist/and in a parallel universe, it's me you can't resist" IT'S A BIT LIKE... The Luxury Gap - Heaven 17 (1983)... only with a female singer and less of a socio-political leaning. Both are keyboard-driven pop albums with a cool, mechanical veneer, plenty of strong melodies and a couple of monster hits.
I first heard La Roux on the Jonathan Ross show and I liked it but hated it at the same time. The song I heard was In for the Kill, and it just seemed a really catchy interesting tune, but had a slightly annoying sound to it. That would be the electro/synth pop that this band is all about! Like I said they are a electro/synth pop duo. Elly Jackson (the red head on the cover) is the main singer and the only one you will see, Ben Langmaid is a silent partner so to speak and is the man behind the music. Elly Jackson is the daughter of Trudie Goodwin who played June Ackland is the Bill for those who are interested. In 2009, La Roux were put forward for many nominations. They won ~ O2 Silver Clef Award for Best Newcomer. Studio 8 International Music Award for Best female newcomer and Studio 8 song of July 2009. Itunes 2009 UK music Awards for Single of the year. In 2010 they have again been nominated for awards and have won ~ NME Awards for Best Dancefloor Filler. They have played at lot's of festivals throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. And have announced a new 11 date United States East Coast tour for November 2010. In it's first week this album sold 62,650 copies and it was released on 29 June 2009. The album is simply titled La Roux and has a side profile picture of red head Elly on the front. On the album you will find 12 tracks ~ In For The Kill Tigerlily Quicksand Bulletproof Colourless Colour I'm Not Your Toy Cover My Eyes As If By Magic Fascination Reflections Are Protection Armour Love Growing Pains (Bonus Album Track) It lasts a total of 42 minutes. 1. In For The Kill ~ This is the first song I heard and the more I listened to it the more I loved it and this is the reason why I bought the album, not having heard any other of their songs. Straight away you can hear the syntho pop and the distortion in Elly's voice, it's a good song, with a brilliant beat. 2. Tigerlily ~ Has the same tone as the first and if I am honest not a favourite of mine. 3. Quicksand ~ Brilliant track, lot's of beats and again like all the songs on the album this is very electro and synthesised. It has an upbeat bouncy type of sound. 4. Bulletproof ~ This time baby, I'll be Bulletproof...... Again a superb track that is probably known by most. It's a break up song in a way and will make you feel loads better. 5. Colourless Colour ~ Another good track, it has a nice rhythm to it, and it a good catchy tune. 6. I'm Not Your Toy ~ A favourite of mine. I love this track it is interesting song, that shows Elly's voice off very well. 7. Cover My Eyes ~ A slower song on the album, not a favourite of mine, although shows Elly's voice in a gentle way. 8. As If By Magic ~ Quite a boring song, all one tone singing in a way, not the best by far. Noticeable more so than others is the synth. 9. Fascination ~ A nice song, shows Elly's voice off at a somewhat higher range. 10. Reflections Are Protection ~ Sounds somewhat 80's, not the best, Elly sounds almost drown out by the beat. 11. Armour Love ~ A slower song, quite pop sounding apart for the synth beat. 12. Growing Pains ~ has a interesting beat, like all the songs towards the end this isn't as good as the first few. La Roux has a very 80's sound to it and I rather enjoy it. It can be bought on amazon for just £3.49 with free P&P. Would love to give it a 5* rating but the later songs let it down somewhat.
La Roux is a duo comprising of Eleanor Jackson and Ben Langmaid. Eleanor is the one who does the singing for the most part and Ben is the man behind the music. When I first heard of La Roux I just assumed it was a one person operation and that was her stage name or something (their name comes from Elle's red hair anyway) and was fairly surprised when I found out that there were two of them. Also, Eleanor is the daughter of Trudie Goodwin (June from 'The Bill') which was another surprise to me and is definitely my random fact offering of the day today. I picked up La Roux - La Roux (self titled of course!) recently from Amazon as I saw it reduced down to just £3.98 and decided that it was finally a bargain price and well worth picking up even just for the couple of songs that I had heard and liked. So far I have seen a fair few lads at work singing along to this down in the staff canteen and this is probably because it's one of the few albums that the canteen staff seem to actually own and hence it's played in full at least once a day (or feels that way) yet it's infectious sound has grown on me. The album was released in June 2009 and has been hovering around in the top 40 albums for a vast majority of the time since going up and down week to week based on what their current single is doing and how popular they have been in the clubs. The highest chart position that the album has peaked at here in the UK is currently number 2 which just goes to show how popular the album has been so far. Track Listing: 1. In for the Kill 2. Tigerlily 3. Quicksand 4. Bulletproof 5. Colourless Colour 6. I'm Not Your Toy 7. Cover My Eyes 8. As If by Magic 9. Fascination 10. Reflections Are Protection 11. Armour Love 12. Growing Pains (UK/Japan Bonus Track) The genre that I would firmly place La Roux in would be synthpop which really hasn't been particular popular in the last 15 years and it's a nice refreshing change from all the usual thumping club beats, High School Musical songs or old reformed boy bands that I have been listening to repeatedly on the radio for many months now. Eleanor has a very synthetic kind of sound to her voice which is enhanced of course and she seems to thoroughly enjoy the kind of music that her and Ben are creating together. The beats are always very funky and uplifting and I love the electro feel to the whole album, I think every song works together and below I will review a couple of the songs, mainly the most popular ones as this will give (hopefully) a real idea to the feel of the album. 'Bulletproof' is immediately electro and funky from the first beat and it has a very funky little synthetic sound to it and Eleanor appears fast enough with her up beat, quirky yet young sounding voice that really is a little young sounding in places and while it could be described as almost whiney it fits in with the feel of the sound wonderfully but I must admit that this song is sounding a little dated already and I am sure in a couple of years it's just not going to be anywhere near as popular as it has been in the last year. 'In For The Kill' is another one of the singles that has been released and has done very well for itself with several remixes appearing. The song is one that is instantly catchy and Eleanor's voice is once again it's usually electro, high kind of sound. The 'oooh oooh' is very catchy in this song and this is one that has been very popular in some of the bars I visit from time to time and I am sure most people would recognise this song if they heard it. I'm not entirely sure what Elearnor is going in for the kill of but the song sticks in my mind non-the-less and is one of the main reasons for me purchasing this album. 'Quicksand' is a song that makes me think this is what Florence from Florence & The Machines would sound like if she appeared on an electro track and to be fair it's probably pretty similar. Eleanor's distinctive voice is recognisable on this song and the album does have a slightly different feel with the addition of this song. The music is very catchy but the lyrics are a little boring and immature in places and there is nothing about this song that I particularly enjoy. 'Tigerlily' is one of those songs that I believe is actually far better when performed live than when on the album. The synth/electropop comes across far more obviously on this album and there is more of a singing sound coming from Eleanor rather than her usual whiny sound and her voice is almost verging on pretty in this song and she really does show off her vocal range a little more which is just fantastic and this song is a real cracker, even when not performed live. However, if you get the opportunity to listen to it live it's miles better and fantastic. Overall I am pleased with the quality of the album and the genre stays fairly true for the duration and it really is a little something different to the usual thing that is found on the shelves these days. There are a few crackers on this album including 'Tigerlily' and 'I'm Not Your Toy' and I would thoroughly recommend this album to anyone who has been a fan of any of their singles. The album is very easy listening and even if you just had it playing away in the background it's a nice inoffensive piece of music but even blasted out loud it's mainly fantastic. This is the kind of album that should have a space on anyones shelf as it's one that helps to lift up the mood at any good party (well, for the moment anyway!). I was not disappointed by this album and while the few singles they have had may be a little overplayed now I still found myself listening to them instead of skipping over to another song. I was very pleased with my purchase, particularly the price paid and for £4.00 even if it's not the best thing in your collection for the past 12 months it's firmly worth it's money just for being a change from the norm!
This album has had a few reviews and I'm probably a bit late in the day reviewing it now, but I have only just joined Dooyoo and have been listening to this album a lot so wanted to share my opinion, here goes.... La Roux are an electro pop duo from London, they are signed to Polydour Records and they are made up of Elly Jackson, who is the face of La Roux and Ben Langmaid, who is more of a background guy, writing and producing their songs. Quicksand was the first song to be released from the album at the end of 2008, but it was 'In for the Kill' in March 2009 and then 'Bulletproof' released in June 2009 which really caught my attention. Bulletproof was a massive hit and shot straight to number 1, receiving a huge amount of airplay. I love 'Bulletproof' so the album had a lot to live up to. I would say it is definitely a grower as I was unsure when I first played it. I now really like the album and have been listening to it non stop since I bought it, despite the 80's sounds (im not a fan of anything 80's)! It has been criticised for copying this era, especially bands like Soft Cell and Depech Mode (apparently not very well), but the pair state these as their inspiration and everyone needs inspiration from somewhere! I was only young in the 80's and don't remember these bands so these comparisons don't bother me. Whilst I would go so far as to say that I love this album, there are elements I really dislike, her voice can be too high pitched and screechy at times and there is a synthy, tinny sound throughout the album which is a bit much at times and means songs can sound very similar. My favourite songs on the album are 'In for the Kill' which I like for its emotive lyrics and killer hook, 'Quicksand' because of the soft vocals which break up some of the intensity of the album, 'Bulletproof' for the fact its upbeat and bright, 'Im not a Toy' for the same reason as 'Bulletproof', it is catchy and more upbeat and 'Cover my Eyes' which I really love as its so unexpected, a strong, almost moving ballad backed up by a choir, what a nice surprise! These songs fall into the first half of the album and this makes the second half a bit weak. Having said that, I do also like 'Reflections are Protection' which has a pop feel and is very catchy. The songs I don't particularly like are 'Tigerlily', 'Fascination', and 'Armour Love' I find these songs very tinny and her high pitched voice seems to reach a whole new level in these songs! Overall I think this is a brilliant album with really great songs that stick in your head, it's nice to listen to something a bit different. All albums have slightly weaker songs so this shouldn't be off putting. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone!
This is the self titled debut album by British electro-pop duo La Roux. Now I wouldnt say that lead singer Eleanor Jackson is the best singer in the world but she does have a very weirdly unique voice which you find hard to stop listening to couple that with the fact that ethir songs are incredibly catchy and your onto a winner. They have already has massive hits with songs such as "In For The Kill" & "Bulletproof" which reached second and first in the charts respectivly. I really enjoyed listening to the album and am very glad that I bought it on an impulse Ill be listening to it for a long time to come yet! My favourite song from the album would have to be "Im Not Your Toy" it has a very funky backing beat, sound kind of like tetris at the start of it I think. The lyrics are very good and make you think "Yes It's All Forced Love & Affection, You Dont Like Me You Just Want The Attention." Love that lyric. Its a song you can listen to the song over and over again andit would never get boring. I would say though if you didnt like her previously released singles you probably wont like the rest of the album either as all the songs sound kind of the same and are all in the same style. Price & Stockists: Play.com: £8.95 Amazon: Brand New: £6.98 Pre Owned: £6.05 HMV: £6.99 So you should be able to get this for well under £10 which is great considering how new the album is and how good the songs are on it.
I bought this album purely on the basis that I loved Bulletproof and I am really happy that I did. La Roux's self-titled album is filled with electro-pop with a largely upbeat feel. Elly Jackson doesn't have the most amazing voice in the world by she can certainly hold a note and her tones really suit the music. She is also very fascinating as a character, with her androgynous style, which I think makes the band seem even more appealing. La Roux is one of those albums that, if you like it, you will listen to on permanent repeat without getting bored. I have also discovered that it is a great album to exercise to because of the prominent beats. Most of the songs are sing-along and out of the 12 tracks there is maybe only one or two that I could live without. The only issue I have is that there is an inexplicable gap at the end of one of the tracks (track 10, I think). I would expect this if there was a hidden track, but there isn't. I don't know what it's in aid of and it's very annoying if listening via your MP3 player as you have to dig the thing out and physically skip to the next track.
La Roux After a really busy summer, l am finally finding the time to sit down and write a review.... Its been a while and l've missed you guys. Myself and my other half have had birthdays, another year older now, but trying not to think about that. But we are richer in CD's, so l may have a few music reviews for you lined up. This is the first one La Roux, this was a birthday gift for me. So here l will let you know what l think...enjoy.... General info. This CD comes in a fairly attractive plastic case, featuring a picture of Elly Jackson from la Roux. You can see from the picture that Elly Jackson has a pretty unique style, and funky hair. You know straight away from just a glance at the CD that this CD offers something else for the listener, and it's quite nice to see music a little different and someone venturing on new territory. My copy had a couple of stickers on the case. The first sticker tells me which hits are on the disk and the second tells me the CD is Barclaycard mercury prize album of the year, hmm so does this mean it's a good album? Well having listened to the CD a fair few times l like it, ld go as far as saying l love it!! Having said that, the hit Bulletproof is always going to be my favourite track on the album. This track is catchy and rather superior to anything else on the album in my opinion. But l love this song, so the album has a lot to compete with this great single. I have a friend who cannot stand La Roux, apparently it's the squeaky voice. For me this just adds to the quirkiness of the album. l cannot dispute the fact her voice is a little squeaky at times, but l like that. This album is a bit 80's (actually a lot 80's), or it at least has elements that remind me of music in the 80's, not that l remember much about the 80's, lm an 80's child! What l absolutely love about La roux is its different! It has an element of fun and light heartedness to the album regardless of the content of the lyrics. It's a fun album to listen to. The lyrics are catchy and flow together well, lines like, 'lm going in for the kill, lm doing it for the thrill, lm hoping you'll understand and not let go of my hand'. Catchy, and some of the songs you only have to hear once and you will feel like you've known the song forever. Possibly annoying when you hear that song and simply cannot get it out of your head. There are a couple of disadvantages to the album, a couple of perhaps weaker tracks like there are on most albums, and l suppose a lot of the songs on the album are very similar. Personally it didn't bother me with this album, as l enjoy the unique sound. For me it didn't spoil it. Its possibly an album l will listen to again and again until l get bored of it and never pick it up again. However for now lm loving the sounds of the album. The electrical sounds of the bouncy quirky music go perfectly with the unique sounding voice of La roux. La Roux are a London based group with the sounds of electro-pop which are very distinctive. Possibly sounds that wont appeal to everyone. Its never going to be voted most sophisticated album of the year. But theres definitely talent there, most of the tracks are written by the Elly Jackson and Ben Langraid, both of which make up La Roux along with supporting band members. There are 12 tracks in total Tracks listed are: In for the Kill Tigerlilly Quicksand Bulletproof Colourless colour lm not your toy Cover my eyes As if by magic Fascination Reflections are protection Armour of love Growing pains (bonus track) My favourite tracks on the album are *in for the kill * *quicksand* *Bulletproof* *lm not your toy* and *Cover my eyes* The first half of the album appears to have all the hits and is probably the better half of the CD the second half is growing on me. It may be different, but l like it, its well worth a listen! Check out www.laroux.co.uk
La Roux - La Roux (2009). Elly Jackson & Ben Langmaid are the mainstay of this 80's revival electro pop group, though they do use a drummer and keyboard player. I'll be totally up front and tell you that whilst I have listened to every track I have only downloaded three of the tracks. This is a shameless album that shamelessly takes early 80's sounds like Soft Cell, Flock of Seagulls and even to some extent, Sparks, and tries to turn it into something relevant for today. It does not succeed in my opinion. Yes, the synthesisers are there, yes, her voice is very evocative of the 80's, yes it is 'poppy', in fact all the ingredients are there and the band has been hailed and hyped from on high. Mercury award nominees etc., etc., and yet...there is something not quite right for me and I could not put my finger on it at first then I realised what it is.....it is TOO POLISHED...the 80's bands of the same genre were experimenting, getting it a bit wrong, they sounded mostly like they had been recorded in a garden shed and I loved that. This lot however are so damn perfect it is not right. So, the tracks I downloaded for myself are: 'In for the Kill'...big chart topper and strangely infectious. I do like the synth beat that reminds me a bit of Visage or even Gary Numan's early stuff. Her voice is strained yet within itself and I found myself humming away. Decent enough and good on some playlists on my iPod. 'Bulletproof'....another chart success (am I becoming a charty?)....I quite like the verses where she seems to be singing 'away' from the melody and again, the chorus is catchy in a nice, inoffensive synthetic way. 'Cover my Eyes'...a much slower number that could easily be T'Pau is somehow, for me, the best track on the album, at least it has some feeling. There is a faint oriental sound to this...for those that know, I am guessing that it is a minor pentatonic key...feel free to correct me...either way, it is a good song. No better, no worse, just good. As for the rest.....decidedly ordinary, expect the pretentious awful track that is 'reflections are protection'...get over yourself love! ~~~Finally~~~ There is talent here, of that there is no doubt. Elly has a quite lovely voice that can be screechy or smooth (I prefer screechy), the music is complex in its simplicity and that is both a plus and a minus. They are certainly not worthy of the hype in my opinion, and I am predicting a flop 2nd album, then obscurity. Why? They have set their stall out to be 80's copycat....but think on, that style that they copied really only lasted from '79 - '82 then those bands that were to be successful a little longer (Duran, Duran, Spandau Ballet) changed tack......I'm not sure that these can. Too polished, to samey, don't buy it, you will be disappointed in a week, I am already fed up with the tracks I downloaded! ~~Full Track Listing~~ 1. In for the Kill 2. Tigerlily 3. Quicksand 4. Bulletproof 5. Colourless Colour 6. I'm Not Your Toy 7. Cover My Eyes 8. As If By Magic 9. Fascination 10. Reflections Are Protection 11. Armour Love Bonus Tracks (like we need them!) Growing Pains In for the Kill
Everyone knows who 'the red-haired one' is by now. Elly Jackson, the main part to the electro-pop duo La Roux was obviously the inspiration behind the name! The self titled debut album from these two is definitely something worth buying or downloading. Even if you're not a fan of electro pop, you just have to love this girl. Her voice is unique, her style is unique, this music is unique and above all, this album is awesome! Track List 1. In For The Kill 2. Tigerlily 3. Quicksand 4. Bulletproof 5. Colourless Colour 6. I'm Not Your Toy 7. Cover My Eyes 8. As If By Magic 9. Fascination 10. Reflections Are Protections 11. Armour Love 12. Growing Pains Well, the first song that I have to mention is the very well known 'In For The Kill'. I don't think that there is anyone on this planet that hasn't heard this song by now. If you haven't then you must have been in space or something for he last couple of months! This is a great party track. I've noticed that it is played a lot in night clubs too actually, and I can see why. It's one of those songs that is guaranteed to get everyone dancing. It always gets me dancing and I never dance! If you like electro-pop or just popular music in general then you will no doubt love this song. The next song that I feel is worth a mention is track 3, 'Quicksand'. I don't know why I like this song so much, I just think that it has a really interesting sound and interesting lyrics as well actually. I wouldn't say that this track is in a totally different style to 'In For The Kill', but it definitely has a different tone and mood to it. The lyrics to me are a bit confusing but I think that's one of the things that makes this track so intriguing. The last track on my list, and my favorite on the whole album, is track 6, 'I'm Not Your Toy'. I like this one because I think the lyrics are written so that everyone can relate to it on some level. Everyone knows what it's like to feel use. I love the catchiness of this track, particularly the chorus "I'm not your toy, this isn't another girl meets boy". It might sound simple but it really is a brilliant song. If you like pop music, dance music, indie, or to be honest, music in general then I'm sure that there is a track for everyone on this album, it is well worth the money for the download or CD, go buy it!!
My (which is, for the principles of this review 'our') journey begins in January 2009, when I read on the Guardian's online site about La Roux in 'The Ones To Watch: Best of Newcomers in 2009'. I read an interview with her, and watched a video which involved clips of her music videos, along with some backstage stuff. It was interesting, and as a fan of many genres (with a special place in my heart reserved for electronica), with a misguided patriotic belief which is less football hooligan, more 'English electronica rocks (or synths)!' which meant I was quite excited about this development. On the 16th of March 2006 her single In For The Kill debuted at 11 in the singles chart, quickly racing upto 2. On the 22nd of June, Bulletproof swooped straight in at number 1 on the singles chart. With extensive radio coverage, there has been a distinct buzz about this band from the beginning - so, if you'll allow me, I will share with you what the eponymous debut album means to me. ---------------------------------- La Roux: Meet The Band La Roux is a partnership, much like Goldfrapp or Eurythmics, between Elly Jackson ("the front" as I think of her; the face and voice of La Roux) and Ben Langmaid (a more "behind the scenes" guy, who produces and composes the songs). Elly is from Brixton, and Ben is from Glasgow; Elly is the daughter of Trudie Goodwin (best known as June Ackland on the Bill, but she flits around daytime television quite frequently too), and Ben has worked with one half of Faithless, Kubb, was one half of Huff&Herb, as well as working alone under the pseudenym Atomic. They are signed to the label Polydour Records. Elly has shook the fashion scene with her androgenous looks and distinctive hairstyle. In her promo pictures she often looks like a comic book villain or a futuristic fashion icon. The name "La roux" means "the red" in French, not "the red haired one (la rousse)" as Elly mistakenly thought; the name was taken out of a baby-name book Elly found on the street. ---------------------------------- La Roux: This Is Our Sound La Roux cites their influences as "Eurythmics, Depeche Mode, The Human League, Yazoo and Prince.", though they say in an interview that they take as much from "The Knife" as they do from "The Human League". As an electronica fan, obviously this seemed a great combination to aspire to. Elly Jackson is on vocals, as I mentioned before, and her voice is pleasant to listen to, with a slight English inflection which is hard to put your finger on. However, her voice, against the backdrop of female-dominated pop, is hardly memorable. Occassionally she doesn't hit the high notes, which leaves less-than-enjoyable crooning, and occassionally she seems to be shouting rather than singing; often she just 'speaks' the lyrics which fall a bit flat. However, as a whole her voice suits the songs, and often her voice has emotional overtones which adds to the songs themselves. TL;DR: 6/10 The music, as opposed to the vocals, is varied. It uses a combination of thwacking drum-machines, Nintendo-esque sounds, synths, and various other "techhy" sounds, from the blipping which could be an ever-growing hive brain at the centre of the ultraworld (or a microwave) to sampling vocal parts from other media. The effect is interesting, but rarely flows well, leaving many songs adrift - they simply aren't catchy. Because of the lack of drums or guitar, the music lacks warmth and depth, leaving many songs tinny and weak, especially with earphones (when played on a CD player, for example, usually there are other noises in the background which make the songs feel 'strong' by giving your ear something to compare it to; with just you and the music, however, there is definitely a sense of being underwhelmed). I am curious to see how such studio-manipulated sounds translate onto the live stage in La Roux's tour of Glastonbury, Reading, Oxegen and Leeds. TL;DR: 7/10 The lyrics, I believe are written by Elly Jackson, and they do reek of 'coming of age'. A continuing theme of her songs is desire, both fighting or giving into it, and as a natural progression of that, female sexuality. Much of it is about being afraid of giving in to love, or desire (perhaps due to being scorned "this time baby, I'll be bulletproof") and wanting to know that whoever was there before (parents, a lover) will still love her afterwards, the recurring embodyment of this being the metaphor of 'holding hands'. It sort of reads like a diary of a teenager, and because of this they may come off slightly whiny. The lyrics are tantamount to the etquisite pain and ecstatic joys of a young woman growing up in today's society, in perfectly eloquent and emotive language. TL;DR: 10/10 ---------------------------------- La Roux: Let's Get Physical I downloaded the album from Itunes, so I did not get the physical album in my hands at a shop. However, you can clearly the see the album pictures at the beginning of this page; red background, red hair, the quiff. Intelligent but not thrilling. This is the tracklist, with my personal ratings by the side: 01 - In For The Kill - 10/10 02 - Tigerlily - 7/10 03 - Quicksand - 9/10 04 - Bulletproof - 9/10 05 - Colourless Colour - 5/10 06 - I'm Not Your Toy - 4/10 07 - Cover My Eyes - 6/10 08 - As If By Magic - 7/10 09 - Fascination - 5/10 10 - Reflections Are Protections - 10/10 11 - Armour Love - 5/10 12 - Growing Pains (bonus track) - 4/10 The two music videos for Bulletproof and Quicksand are up on Youtube, I'd recommend you watch them. ---------------------------------- Overall, I enjoyed this album, but don't buy into the propaganda of indie vs. electronica, or old vs. new. This album has a very modern feel to it, much more pop than 80s, and if you give it a good listen you'll discover other genre influences, such as 70s, gospel and of course, indie. As a summer album, its a good buy, and something a "bit different", but it leaves very little impression after the first few listens.
First off, La Roux is not just her, they are actually a duo, made up of lead singer Ellie Jackson and behind the scenes man Ben, who does all the twiddly production bits. I first heard 'In For The Kill' when it debuted on MTV much earlier this year and I thought, that is going to either be massive or a hige flop. It is now the third biggest seller of the year to date. The debut album lives up to the hype behind the first two singles. 'In For The Kill' opens it up, with screeching vocals and dramatic synths, it is as atmospheric as you like with a superb beat and a hook which refuses to go away. The followup single 'Bulletproof' is a grower, with an insanely addictive chorus, I have found myself walking round singing it for about two weeks now. More straight forward pop than the first offering, it is classy polished song which harks back to the synthy delights of Yazoo. If you like that, 'Im Not Your Toy' has a wonderful chorus and such a delightful melody that will make you squirm with glee, it is just too short and should go on for another minute. 'Quicksand' reminds me of something, I haven't worked it out yet, but the chords make me think of hmm, I think it could be Cameo's 'Word Up' but I am not sure. The song does not have a chorus so speak, it is just a perfectly formed song with stark vocals and intelligent lyrics. 'Tigerlily' reminds me of 'Bulletproof' with a similar synth hook working through it. Ellie's vocals really shine on this song, as she pushes her boundaries to the max. There are hushed bits and parts where she lets rip, some stunning drum stabs and excellent production once again. 'Reflections' is a slower affair, which gives the album a chance to calm down and compose itself. Not that keen on the dark riff in this, but the brooding nature of the song will please those who like their songs stooped in gloom. It is one to play when you are feeling downbeat. There are twelve tracks on this album, some take several listens. I had to play it through three times to get it all, but it will come and when it does you will discover something very special. If you want modern synth pop then this is it. Just ignore that she looks like Rupert Grint and you'll be fine!
La roux first came to my attention whilst watching the glastonbury coverage and i heard the live version of bulletproof. This was one of the most beautiful songs ive heard in a long time. She has an incredible voice, even when performing live and acoustic. Sadly that version is not included on the albums, however the studio produced version is, which is still a fantastic song. In for the kill is the other track of note, this is an absolute instant classic, and a tune that i feel will never become overplayed. Tigerlily introduction is another highlight. The technological sounds and colour of this, and most of the other tracks mean that they are a good listen, even if you havent previously heard them. The other tracks are less notable, but have no doubt la roux will be massive this year and perhaps next year too. For many albums it is tempting to just buy the two or three main tracks off itunes and save money on the rest, however i reccommend buying the whole album.
It's pretty much official. 2009 is the year of Electro-pop. The indie bands that dominated the music scene for so long are slowly becoming irrelevant if recent chart performances from the likes of Razorlight, Kaiser Chiefs, The Enemy and others are anything to go by. In their place are the hot new talents of the year such as Lady Gaga, Frankmusik, Little Boots and of course La Roux. Contrary to popular belief La Roux is actually a band. It's very much an Eurythmics type situation as far as the media and the public are concerned. Elly Jackson is of course the very androgynmous, odd looking individual who provides the vocals and is the face of La Roux, but Ben Langmaid is the guy in the background who produces all of their songs. La Roux's rise to fame has been a slow and steady struggle and breakthrough single 'In For The Kill' and recent number one hit 'Bulletproof' have helped them become the hottest new act of 2009. This album was only released a fortnight ago but already I think it's one of the best pop outings of the year so far. Before we get into it, I thought I'd just throw in the random fact that Elly's mum is none other than good old June Ackland from The Bill. Weird huh? 'In For The Kill' instantly takes you into a world of something completely different to what you'd expect to hear. It's extremely spine tingling with a very haunting, futuristic feel to it. The pulse pounding beats just suck you in and the high pitched wailing provided by Jackson take some time to get used to but they only add to the strange and quirky feel of the track. I hated it at first as I thought her singing was atrocious but it wears you down with the glamorous 80's synth pop style and the energetic and outlandish way in which Elly delivers the lyrics. In contrast 'Bulletproof' is perhaps my favourite song on the album. If the songs weren't on the same CD, you'd think they came from a different singer. The hypnotic beats are still present but this is a more mid-tempo effort with areas of the production sounding like they come from some early 90's video game. Elly's vocals are completely different to 'In For The Kill'. There's a bitter, angry feel to them but they wrap themselves around the solidarity of the lyrics perfectly. 'Tigerlily' sounds like a less lively version of 'In For The Kill'. Interesting title aside, the track is full of half hearted wailing that does nothing to impress. 'Quicksand' on the other hand sounds like something the Scissor Sisters would come up with. The verses are very slow and boring and often feel out of sync with the beat but the chorus just explodes with a catchy hook and a slur of passionate vocals from Elly. The different styles explored are extremely entertaining and there's never a boring moment whilst listening to 'La Roux'. 'Cover My Eyes' for example has a slow and plodding beat and is the closest you'll ever get to a ballad from this band. The vulnerable display of vocals from Elly mix so well with the emotional lyrics and the beat sounds haunting but in a terribly sad way. Meanwhile, 'Colourless Colours' has a very high pitched, techno inspired beat that almost drowns out the music. Elly sounds like she's trying to sound like Lily Allen and does a much better job. 'I'm Not Your Toy' is another stand out moment. The 80's synth pop vibe is back and it's stronger than ever. This is a less vibrant outing than previous tracks that provides a fierce hand clapping beat and poisonous verses that weave together perfectly with another high quality chorus. The production is perhaps the strongest here that I'd heard so far. You can feel every sound and every twist in the beat and it gives the song a life of its own. 'As If By Magic' is again another totally different track. The beat is just amazing and has some gorgeous harmonies. It's a relaxing slice of summery pop that again highlights just how different Elly can be. She moves through her vocal range and from style to style with an incredible ease and the whole record just flows along with it as a result. I'd have to say that the only song I don't like is 'Fascination'. It has no relation to the Alphabeat hit from 2008 but the beat is far too fast and it doesn't keep up with Elly's vocals which are just awfully high and offputting. 'Reflections Are Protection', however, has an almost seductive, sexy RnB feel to it and is another highlight on this debut disc. The album does almost follow a story of love, loss and recovery and it's wonderful how all the songs seem to blend together, even if a few of them do sound a tad samey, it's an inventive and interesting concept that only reinforces the strength of the record. La Roux have provided a stunning debut album that captures the feel of the brilliant 80s electro-pop sound and adds a modern touch to it. The movement between Elly's rather high pitched and eccentric vocals to more mainstream based hits like 'Bulletproof' ensure that there is something for all music lovers on this CD. La Roux's influences are definitely apparent and if you're a fan of the likes of Yazoo, Eurythmics or Human League, this is like a 21st century upgrade on their sound and style but with a twist. There's something oddly hypnotising about La Roux. Whether it's the strange looking frontwoman or her almost banshee style singing, but this is an infectious album that has brilliant production and some great songs that aren't just about the music but also evoke odd and rather thought provoking lyrics. La Roux is only going to get bigger so if you like what you've heard so far this is most certainly one of the must have purchases of 2009. Complete tracklisting: 01 - In For The Kill 02 - Tigerlily 03 - Quicksand 04 - Bulletproof 05 - Colourless Colourless 06 - I'm Not Your Toy 07 - Cover My Eyes 08 - As If By Magic 09 - Fascination 10 - Reflections Are Protections 11 - Armour Love 12 - Growing Pains For fans of: Aforementioned 80's bands, Scissor Sisters The link below provides a great Youtube video with snippets of the entire album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR8xwEtcjyM
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 In For The Kill
5 Colourless Colour
6 I'm Not Your Toy
7 Cover My Eyes
8 As If By Magic
10 Reflections Are Protections
11 Armour Love
12 Growing Pains (UK bonus track)