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Trouble in Paradise *

Album: Trouble in Paradise *
# Song Title   Time
1)    Uptight Downtown
2)    Kiss and Not Tell
3)    Cruel Sexuality
4)    Paradise is You
5)    Sexotheque
6)    Tropical Chancer
7)    Silent Partner
8)    Let Me Down Gently
9)    Feeling, The
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Audio Mixers: Elly Jackson; Ian Sherwin; Alan Moulder.
  • Recording information: Assault And Battery 1; Big Barn; Eastcode; Lynchmob; The Isle Of Bingy.
  • Photographers: Roger Deckker; Louie Banks.
  • Naming her long-awaited second album Trouble in Paradise might have been tempting fate if La Roux's Elly Jackson hadn't endured plenty of hardships between 2009's self-titled debut and its follow-up. Writer's block, the departure of collaborator Ben Langmaid, panic attacks that left Jackson unable to sing, and extensive recording sessions all delayed her return to the point that "where are they now?" stories seemed more likely than a second album. However, the lasting impact of La Roux's whip-smart synth pop -- which became a template for countless other '80s-worshiping acts during Jackson's absence -- proved her music could still be relevant five years later. She wastes no time reminding listeners of her charms with Trouble in Paradise's opening tracks: "Uptight Downtown" (which borrows starkly echoing guitars from David Bowie's "Let's Dance") and "Kiss and Not Tell" offer more of "Quicksand" and "Bulletproof"'s cleverly bouncy pop, minus some bite. Elsewhere, Jackson downplays the stiff electronics that made such an intriguing contrast with her emotive singing and lyrics on La Roux. She trades them for a warmer, disco and reggae-inspired sound that shines on "Tropical Chancer"'s electro-calypso hybrid (which also evokes Bananarama's similarly sunburnt and heartbroken "Cruel Summer"). Jackson also uses this softer sound to explore more vulnerable songwriting territory: much of Trouble in Paradise teeters between independence and codependence, whether it's "Cruel Sexuality"'s stifled desire or the boundary setting of "Let Me Down Gently." Jackson's feisty side doesn't resurface until "Silent Partner," where the relentless bassline and expansive length seem to nod to the success La Roux's singles had as dance remixes. With songs like this, Trouble in Paradise proves Jackson is still better than many of her contemporaries when it comes to making fizzy electro-pop. ~ Heather Phares
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "On La Roux's second LP, her vintage synth-pop magnificence has warmed into the sort of electro-disco drama you imagine the Daft Punk robots blasting as they cruise down Highway 1."

Billboard - "The lean, nine-track offering finds Jackson swiveling away from icy electronica toward technicolor disco, with cheekily titled tracks like 'Sexotheque' flashing funk guitar and percussion."

Pitchfork (Website) - "The music on TROUBLE IN PARADISE breathes more than it did on their debut, with slower tempos and less of an emphasis on the vacuum-sealed sound of electronics."
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