Trouble in Paradise

Trouble in Paradise

by La Roux

CD

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Overview

Naming her long-awaited second album Trouble in Paradise might have been tempting fate if La Roux's Elly Jackson hadn't endured plenty of hardships between 2009's self-titled debut and its follow-up. Writer's block, the departure of collaborator Ben Langmaid, panic attacks that left Jackson unable to sing, and extensive recording sessions all delayed her return to the point that "where are they now?" stories seemed more likely than a second album. However, the lasting impact of La Roux's whip-smart synth pop -- which became a template for countless other '80s-worshiping acts during Jackson's absence -- proved her music could still be relevant five years later. She wastes no time reminding listeners of her charms with Trouble in Paradise's opening tracks: "Uptight Downtown" (which borrows starkly echoing guitars from David Bowie's "Let's Dance") and "Kiss and Not Tell" offer more of "Quicksand" and "Bulletproof"'s cleverly bouncy pop, minus some bite. Elsewhere, Jackson downplays the stiff electronics that made such an intriguing contrast with her emotive singing and lyrics on La Roux. She trades them for a warmer, disco and reggae-inspired sound that shines on "Tropical Chancer"'s electro-calypso hybrid (which also evokes Bananarama's similarly sunburnt and heartbroken "Cruel Summer"). Jackson also uses this softer sound to explore more vulnerable songwriting territory: much of Trouble in Paradise teeters between independence and codependence, whether it's "Cruel Sexuality"'s stifled desire or the boundary setting of "Let Me Down Gently." Jackson's feisty side doesn't resurface until "Silent Partner," where the relentless bassline and expansive length seem to nod to the success La Roux's singles had as dance remixes. With songs like this, Trouble in Paradise proves Jackson is still better than many of her contemporaries when it comes to making fizzy electro-pop.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/22/2014
Label: Interscope Records
UPC: 0602537863983
catalogNumber: 002094302
Rank: 93806

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Roux   Primary Artist
Steve White   Drums
Ian Sherwin   Synthesizer,Percussion,Bass Guitar
Tim Baxter   Piano
Elly Jackson   Synthesizer,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Marimbas,Vocals,Synthesizer Bass,Linn Drum
Hannah Khemoh   Background Vocals
Chilly Gonzales   Piano,Hammond Organ,Vibes
Shux   Keyboards
Aleysha Lei   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Grace Jones   Composer
Ben Langmaid   Composer,Engineer,Inspiration
Ian Sherwin   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Jeff Bhasker   Composer
Alexander Brown   Art Direction
Elly Jackson   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Art Direction,Dmx,Inspiration
Darren Berry   Composer,drum machine
Shux   Composer,Producer,Engineer

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