La Roux - Trouble In Paradise

by Shannon Smith

La Roux’s second offering is a regurgitated mess, heavily influenced by the diabolical synthpop 1980s. The Guardian may have called this a “playful flirtation”, but I am not convinced that this record is worth anybody’s time. For someone who started the development of this album in 2011, call me skeptical, but I expected a hell of a lot more. The album as a whole was a musical insult to my ears. A dreadful, abysmal insult. Looks like La Roux’s ex-member, Ben Langmaid, escaped at the perfect time.

I had such high hopes for this album. The first single, Let Me Down Gently, could have been a great starting point for an epic musical masterpiece.

I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m young, foolish and green, Let me in for a minute, You’re not my life but I want you in it.

These lyrics showcase an almost adolescent desperation for love which almost all listeners can empathise with. The dark and brooding tone of the backing track matches the theme of the song and provides a unique, exciting sound for the listener. Most importantly, the track takes those 1980s influences that La Roux seemingly clings onto for dear life and transforms them into something suitable for 2014. Yet, these high hopes came crashing down upon hearing the dire end product that is Trouble In Paradise.

The main problem with this record is that any feeling, any emotional connection for the listener, has been sucked bone dry. And what has replaced the emotion? Overused electronic beats and Jackson’s vocal screeches. A prime example of this was the ironically named, The Feeling.

There’s plenty of time to get me in shape, I promise I’ll keep the promises I make, Barely said hello before we say goodbye.

Heartfelt and emotional lyrics were smothered by the abuse of a synth machine. I call for that appalling synth to be seized from Jackson. I cannot help but imagine how beautiful an acoustic version of this song could have been. Even the more upbeat tracks on this album, such as Uptight Downtown and Kiss And Not Tell, were pitiful. No amount of pop beats could save these tracks. Honest to God, I fell asleep to Tropical Chancer. I think that says it all.

Trouble In Paradise should really come with a warning label. Overall, I can safely say that I never in all my days of musical listening have I been subjected to a worse album. These songs could genuinely be used as a torture technique.

Part of me wonders if my reaction to Trouble In Paradise was triggered by my extreme sense of disappointment. However, disregarding my high expectations, I am sure nothing would have disguised how truly awful this record is. The worst album of 2014 so far.