La Roux – Supervision

Everything's fine, nothing's especially bad. It all just feels a bit 'meh'.
Label: Supercolour Records
Released: 7th February 2020
Rating: ★★

Five years can be an eternity in the pop world, but not an insurmountable time away if you’re someone with as weighty a reputation as La Roux. After all, Elly Jackson has been here before with a similar time lapse between her self-titled debut and the eventual follow-up, ‘Trouble In Paradise’. Sadly, lightning hasn’t struck for a third time on what is largely a procession of dance-pop that is both exquisitely produced yet still mainly forgettable on the whole.

Leaning once more heavily into her love of MJ and Prince, Elly’s distinctive falsetto ushers in the opening track ’21st Century’. The problem though, as with comeback single ‘International Woman Of Leisure’, is that it forgets to bring a memorable chorus with it. At times a bit too comfortable in its chilled vibes, much of ‘Supervision’ feels like an artist on auto-pilot. However, tracks like the funky ‘Do You Feel’ and ‘Automatic Driver’ hint at what could have been. Channelling the ghosts of 80’s icons into something fresh and dripping with life and drama, they punch through in a way that you yearn for the rest of the album to do.

If ever a record could be damned with faint praise, it’s this one. Everything’s fine, nothing’s especially bad. It all just feels a bit ‘meh’ and unsurprising, which is desperately unlike what we have come to expect from La Roux. Disappointingly safe, it may be just enough to get her back in the game for now but not one to keep her in it for long.

Jamie MacMillan

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