Elly Jackson, the red-haired one with the distinctive quiff and falsetto is back. With the speed of a bullet, the English electro-pop band La Roux barreled to the top of the dance charts in 2009 with the smash hit ‘Bulletproof’ and then went quiet for five years. Fret not. July marks the release of her sophomore album Trouble in Paradise and if lead single ‘Let Me Down Gently’ is any indication, the troubling void of La Roux on the pop music scene is over.
But the Ellyphant in the room remains: What happened? Quite a lot. She split from her songwriting partner Ben Langmaid (La Roux used to be a duo), lost her voice and almost spun out of control. If you want the whole story, read Tim Jonze‘s excellent article at The Guardian about La Roux’s triumph, tragedy and timeless return.
The Music Hall of Williamsburg was teeming with anticipation. At 10 p.m. sharp, Jackson and her band appeared and eased the crowd in gently with the aforementioned sexy, sultry lead single punctuated with an amazing sax solo then delved into the blissful allure of ‘Fascination’ from the first album. ‘Cruel Sexuality’ and ‘Sexotheque’ off the new album were standouts, but ‘Tropical Chancer’ and ‘Uptight Downtown’ turned me out most.
I like that La Roux’s new songs rely less on her falsetto; but live she weaves in a lot of her fan favorites that do: ‘Tigerlily,’ ‘In For The Kill,’ ‘I’m Not Your Toy’ and of course ‘Bulletproof.’ Trouble in Paradise is the 2014 album I’ve been waiting for. I know the temperature is rising. It’s my summer sizzler and I can tell already I’m gonna use it up and wear it out. One, two, three shake your body down.