Showing posts with label la roux. Show all posts
Showing posts with label la roux. Show all posts

Monday, July 21, 2014

video review: 'trouble in paradise' by la roux

Yeah, that Sadistik review isn't happening, I don't think. Every draft of it did not work, so I'm probably not going to cover it unless I get really desperate.

But then again, we're now entering the point of the year where nothing is coming out. So expect some odd shit over the next few days, so stay tuned!

album review: 'trouble in paradise' by la roux

Someday when pop culture historians sit down to write about the rise of EDM in the United States, they'd be wise to keep in mind two very important factors. The first is an admission that despite some of the genres roots coming from the discos and club scenes in Detroit and Chicago, it wasn't the US that was responsible for turning EDM into the worldwide phenomenon it is today. For that, you need to give the majority of the credit to Europe, who had been engaging in fluorescent explosions of pounding bass and gleaming synth lines for decades before rave and festival culture reappeared the Atlantic. For me, the years that always jump out as the 'peak' of said scene was the very late 80s and early 90s, especially in England with the moves to fuse the baroque weirdness of synthpop of all stripes with dance music. 

The other factor, of course, is the club boom, an era from approximately 2009 to 2012 where mainstream culture gravitated towards nightclubs thanks to a resurgence in synthpop and the success of mainstream hip-hop in pushing that lifestyle and sound. What tends to get glossed over in this story is that after several years of mainstream radio generally ignoring European music, several synthpop acts from other markets broke through around this time. These are acts like Robyn, Ellie Goulding, and the artist we're going to be talking about today, La Roux, who smashed onto mainstream radio with 'Bulletproof', a song all hard-edged synths and a fiercely dynamic vocal performances by Elly Jackson. What made the album stand out for me was the razor-edged balance between raw vulnerability and confidence, and much sharper lyrics than you normally see in this brand of synthpop - in other words, La Roux for me was the proto-CHVRCHES.

And yet after 'Bulletproof' and world-wide tours, La Roux dropped off the face of the earth. Elly Jackson admitted she wasn't ready for the insane fame that comes with such a hit and took a step back, eventually parting ways with her longtime producer partner Ben Langmaid, but not before writing a few songs for the new album Trouble In Paradise, an album coming five years after their self-titled debut and into a very different pop and dance music climate. So, how does it hold up?