After a six-year absence since her second album “Trouble In Paradise” La Roux is back with a new record – “Supervision” – ironically named as she quite clearly doesn’t need any supervision and on this release appears to be brimming with confidence, optimism and bounce.
La Roux is Elly Jackson, a Grammy-winning and BRIT and Mercury-Prize-nominated artist and producer who shot to worldwide fame with her debut self-titled album. Featuring generation-defining hits like ‘In For The Kill’ and ‘Bulletproof’, the record sold over 6 million singles worldwide and – in addition to collaborations with the likes of Skream, Kanye West, and Major Lazer – helped reshape pop as we now know it. Elly’s second album, ‘Trouble In Paradise’, was a critically-adored reinvention in sound and look, topping the Dance/Electronic charts in the US and landing La Roux her second top 10 record in the UK. A subversive, occasionally disruptive young talent, all this has led La Roux to where she finds herself musically, creatively, emotionally on ‘Supervision’ – self-producing her record in her Brixton kitchen, aided by producer Dan Carey.
The opening track, “21st Century”, much like the entire album, is a throwback to a retro ‘80s world of Nile Rodgers’ guitar licks, pop synth tones and funk with La Roux’s shrill, falsetto vocal taking centre stage.
Album highlights are “Do You Feel” – a track that wouldn’t sound out of place on Janet Jackson’s 1986 smash hit album “Control” – filled with bold breakbeats and punchy percussion. “Automatic Driver” is addictively sweet and poppy with an infectious, glistening organ beat and clipped guitar and “International Woman Of Leisure” is reminiscent of earlier synth smash hit “Bulletproof” with icy vocal tones and stabbing synth beats.
“Everything I Live For” may contain a whiff of George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex” but also struts with a marvellous, funky chorus – slick and swell accompanied with synths that beep and buzz. “Otherside” shimmers with a vibe evocative of walking into a town nightclub in the 1980s whilst “He Rides” reflects Elly’s more relaxed, happier approach to making the music she likes – of perhaps letting Elly share the musical space more with La Roux.
Closing track “Gullible Fool” is slower in tempo, initially just a simple piano and gentle percussion in sweet harmony until at 2:27 when the track ramps up its sass and groove and is smooth and confident – even the piano struts with self-assurance. “Supervision” doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor “Trouble In Paradise” – it’s a bit samey and repetitive in tone but Elly has crafted something deliciously evocative of the ‘80s whilst the overall sound is precisely, undeniably, gloriously La Roux.