La Roux (Polydor)
The old-school charms of most putatively ’80s-influenced acts don’t cover much more than a squelchy electro bassline and a dodgy haircut.
La Roux, though, are the real thing. Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid don’t just take their cues from the early ’80s synth pop: their debut is a sound-for-sound reconstruction of Depeche Mode, Yazoo and the like.
There’s not a suspicion of futurism on La Roux, which is as deliberately, extraordinarily dated as any record you’ll hear this year. But for all La Roux’s revivalism, the most striking sound on La Roux is Jackson’s singing.
She has a terrible voice: thin, characterless and utterly lacking in range. Its shortcomings are disguised in various ways: double-tracked, or shrouded by technology.
But once you’ve witnessed its feebleness left hanging out to dry, as on In For The Kill and Fascination, it’s hard not to notice it on every track.
Anyone have Alison Moyet’s phone number?