Album review | POP

La Roux, ‘Trouble in Paradise’

In the middle of making its new album, La Roux’s original lineup dissolved. Elly Jackson has been the British electro-pop band’s voice and public persona (not to mention poster girl for amazing hair), but Ben Langmaid had been instrumental behind the scenes as her co-writer and producer. He and Jackson split on messy terms, but as Jackson told the Globe recently, his departure allowed her to take La Roux in a new direction.

Her creative rebirth is apparent on “Trouble in Paradise,” the follow-up to La Roux’s self-titled debut, which was a sleeper hit in 2009 that yielded the hits “Bulletproof” and “In for the Kill.” Jackson is more adventurous here, unafraid to take chances such as a nearly six-minute downer called “Let Me Down Gently.”


Except, title aside, it’s not a downer at all. Jackson nestles deep into its melancholy before the song splinters into distinct halves: a moody, mournful ballad that suddenly falls silent before coming back as a throbbing slice of disco. She wouldn’t have attempted that earlier in her career.

Most of “Trouble in Paradise,” though, relies on Jackson’s ear for exuberant melody. From the sweeping chorus and dub-inflected hook of “Uptight Downtown” to the seductive groove of “Cruel Sexuality,” this is La Roux in euphoric dance-pop mode. “Kiss and Not Tell” and “Sexotheque” deliver a sugar rush akin to a beach ball bouncing on a sunny day, and the tender optimism of “Paradise Is You” pulls back the curtain to reveal the big heart behind those big beats. Growing up suits La Roux. (Out Tuesday)

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here


ESSENTIAL “Uptight Downtown”

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of