La Roux

by La Roux

Just when you though the eighties synth sound was dead and buried, La Roux stand atop a mound of earth with a shovel in one hand and a Yamaha DX7 in the other with this, their debut album. Yep, singer Elly Jackson and silent moody-bloke-who-stands-at-the-back-with-his-fingers-on-a-keyboard Ben Langmaid are, essentially, Yazoo mark two.

La Roux - La Roux

Unfortunately for them, Elly doesn’t have the strength of voice of someone like Alison Moyet. What she does have is a pitch that goes high enough to probably have wolves howling at the moon and domestic pooches falling to the floor, with paws tight over their ears.

Recent hit single In for the Kill has a novelty kookiness about it; you wouldn’t really want an entire album of that noise now, would you? Thankfully, you don’t get that. When she lowers the tone, Elly’s voice is that much more bearable; the trade-off of course, is that it's less unique.

I’m Not Your Toy enjoys a similar bouncy feel – again with the high pitch thing going on – flapping about on a bed of solid electro beats. If you hated In for the Kill, then this certainly won’t win you over. Likewise though, if you were a fan, this is more of the same.

There’s something more than a little odd about Quicksand – if you ignore the chorus, it’s a dead ringer for Prince’s When Doves Cry, but this time someone’s got their hands on the Prince’s jewels, and boy are they not letting go.

By the time As If by Magic rolls by, a wave of relief washes over you - until, that is, the chorus, when the shrill attacks once again. It doesn’t let up either with the next track, so at this point ear plugs might be advisable.

And as you might expect, the production is very much synth-tastic. Which, like the vocals, is very much a love or hate thing.

So, if you hate high vocals and dibby dabby keyboard chords, you can probably cross La Roux off of your play wish list. Furthermore, if you believe, like us, that the music of the eighties is exactly where it should be, then do buy a copy of this album and bury it six feet under, so nothing like this can ever happen again.

After all, what happened in the eighties, should stay in the eighties.

one out of five