Music

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.

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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)

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JAMES REED

ESSENTIAL “Uptight Downtown”