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La Roux - La Roux

I will always remember 2009 as the year I no longer separated females from males when considering who I thought to be the best artist. Though Lady Gaga and Little Boots made convincing claims to the throne atop the pop kingdom, it’s La Roux’s claim that has the people chanting, “Long live the queen!”

Her outlandish comments may be deserving of the outraged response she has received in her motherland of the U.K. But this controversy accompanying her is much the same as a queen. Her presence is in itself reflective of a pop star, but it is her music which has proven to be the jealous, scheming sister of forgotten queens of the past, that has the mirror proclaiming that she is the greatest of them all. Alongside co-writer and co-producer Ben Langmaid, La Roux has a strong grasp on the crown with her authentic ’80s sound, influenced by the likes of the Human League, Blancmange and Eurythmics.

La Roux’s self-titled debut album opens with “In For the Kill,” an irresistible combination of her soft, feminine vocals and a catchy chorus. Singles “Bulletproof” and “Quicksand” approach her doomed romance in a defiant yet rejected manner, but it is the heartbreak of “Cover My Eyes,” with its naked honesty and wrenching jealousy, that raises her above other pop contemporaries. Although the album’s best tracks are at the beginning, the remainder of the album is not lost, as is common with other pop albums. La Roux and Langmaid are able to change the pace of the album, slowing it down (without the whiplash) with sophisticated tracks such as “As If by Magic.” 

As contemporary culture reappropriates the once-slandered ’80s, La Roux’s debut is an unashamed announcement of her and its arrival.

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