ALBUM OF THE WEEK
After finishing touring in 2010, Elly Jackson may as well have had her face on the side of a milk carton beneath the question “Have You Seen This Woman?”
A lot was going on behind the scenes following La Roux’s phenomenal eponymous 2009 debut LP, including a split with the unseen second half of the project, producer Ben Langmaid, as well as personal conflict and literally losing her voice. Not that you’d know this purely off the back of the musical side of Trouble In Paradise – the nine songs on here sound like the opposite of a gritty reboot; all sunshine, upbeat grooves and the occasional tropical vibe for good measure.
Perhaps it’s this contrast that allows for Jackson’s lyrical honesty and her often quite vulnerable vocals to shine through, full of sexual ambiguity, desperate pleas and moments of bleak despair laced with silver linings of hope. It takes a while for the whole thing to sink in, but it’s easily worth your effort.
Is there life after the hype dies down? Can second album syndrome be cured? Trouble In Paradise points to the affirmative on both counts. It’s not over just yet for La Roux – and we’re lucky for it.