Review: La Roux

24 Jan

LA ROUX

La Roux

Polydor/Universal

When young Elly Jackson sings with high-pitched intensity on opener, In For The Kill, there’s no denying a fleeting fascination in this latest red-haired sensation. La Roux’s debut is pure synth-pop, reminiscent of an early UK sound – think The Human League’s Dare and Depeche Mode’s Speak and Spell back in 1981. But when you go back and listen to those classic albums now, they sound a tad simplistic and hollow. Of course you still love them for their innovative use of drum machines and synthesizers, but electronic music has since developed and we now have amazing bands like Cut Copy and Chromeo leading the charge with outstanding production and great songs to boot. So where does this leave La Roux – a duo imitating a past sound and in the process creating synthetic pop drivel that’s too commercial to label as kitsch? Try listening to Jackson’s irritating voice over the course of a whole album. Don’t believe the glossy hype.

2 out of 5

[As published in The Wire, The West Australian, Issue 09, 23.07.09]

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