Dangerously contagious tunes

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 August, 2009, 12:00am

Far too often, today's up-and-coming artists play mediocre internet indie, or tasteless, manufactured and infinitely remixed pop.

La Roux's self-titled debut stands out from the crowd. Forget Lady Gaga; the electro-pop duo pits the fragile and boyish, yet cold voice of Elly Jackson against Ben Langmaid's millennium-age synth beats for a completely original sound. And Jackson's awesome hair is on a par with some of Lady Gaga's get-ups.

This album is proving commercially successful, reaching No. 2 on the UK charts, and rightly so: it's full of well-written, catchy melodies - perfect single material.

Take, for example, third single Bulletproof, which was also the group's first No. 1. The track revolves around the dangerously contagious chorus 'This time baby / I'll be bulletproof', while a digital vocoder is used to give it a unique edge.

Other highlights include the highly danceable opener and second single In for the Kill, and the choir-backed Cover My Eyes.

Like many dance albums, if you listen to it too many times in a row, La Roux can start to sound a bit samey. But take a rock break between plays and you'll realise this is one of the best albums to have been released so far this year.