I thought La Roux’s debut was average, outside of the singles there was sadly not really anything to enjoy all that much, so I went into Trouble In Paradise with no expectations, and you know what? this is only slightly better than the debut.
When I say ‘slightly’, I actually mean for me it’s a whole load more enjoyable, but it’s still not something I go crazy for, the only reason I’ve listened to the album so much is because I just don’t ‘get it’. The album does sound warmer and sonically it’s a more together album than the debut which was just ‘Bulletproof’ and ‘In for the Kill’, I feel like La Roux (Elly Jackson) could make this sound work more than previous because it just seems more fun and vibrant.
The album lyrically deals with personal struggle on the down-slope as we progress through the nine songs and I think the music almost matches this slope as ‘Uptight Downtown’ is upbeat and closer ‘The Feeling’ is less so.
However, I find myself not caring for the album up until ‘Sexotheque’, and the song has some really cheesy clean guitar riff that plays at the beginning, like one of those London Indie band riffs. Whilst the tracks preceding were a little catchy (I’m probably being uptight here) I just couldn’t really ‘get into them’. ‘Sexotheque’ has a crisp chorus and clean instrumentation and it feels like Jackson got everything right for moment, nothing was under or overdone on the track.
I feel like this ‘positive energy’ (?) flows into ‘Tropical Chancer’, and if you had shown me these two songs I’d be really excited for Trouble in Paradise, but the other songs just don’t seem to have that smooth electric magic that feel so easy to get to know. ‘Silent Partner’ is what Arcade Fire’s Reflektor would have sounded if they went more New Wave. At seven minutes the song is too long, I could maybe cope with an extended disco mix, but if this was cut short it’d make for a great single.
‘Let Me Down Gently’ has an organ sound that was used on the remix of a Yasmin track some years ago and I feel like I was never high enough to be let down gently, I was never that in love. Trouble in Paradise is more consistent than La Roux’s self titled debut, it’s better in every way, (I think the debut had the better singles though) but I guess La Roux is an artist who I’m never going to really get to like. I want to like this album, I really do, I like New Wave and all this 80’s stuff, it’s just not engaging enough for me, it’s not exciting enough, it’s just little more than adequate. It’s good, take it as good and like it better than me.