“Tropical Chancer”: La Roux Channels Grace Jones On Brilliant ‘Trouble In Paradise’ Cut

by Bradley Stern

La Roux — once a “they,” now a “she” — is back.

You might or might not have known that already, given that Elly Jackson has already quietly floated out a handful of tracks from her upcoming LP (Trouble In Paradise), including the slow-burning ‘buzz track’ “Let Me Down Gently,” followed by the incredibly instant proper lead single, “Uptight Downtown.”

Having formally parted ways with her creative companion and producer Ben Langmaid, Elly’s returned on her own with a considerably more relaxed, slinkier sound. Gone are the hammering electronic beats and razor-sharp hooks of “Bulletproof” and “In For The Kill.” Instead, the new material is filled with summery, shimmering disco stomps, funky guitar licks and breezy melodies.

It’s not a completely radical sonic transformation — she’s just slipping into something more comfortable.

From OUT:

“I’ve been listening to a lot of classic disco, a lot of ‘State of Independence”era Donna Summer and Grace Jones and Tom Tom Club,” she says. “I’d like a more sexual feel to the record, but not in a sex-in-the-club kinda way — the way sexy was before it got made dirty. Sexy can be classy, sexy can be cool, sexy can be actually sexy.”

Sexy? Yes, yes, yes — and anyone that references Grace and Donna is CLEARLY on the right track.

Tonight, Pitchfork premiered the latest track from the upcoming album called “Tropical Chancer,” which, much to my great delight, plays like a loving nod to Compass Point Studios-era Grace Jones (see: “My Jamaican Guy”), full of funky rhythms and island sounds.

“And I could see it in his eyes/He was the type to sail off in the night,” she melodically sings of her runaway man. Another immediate distinction from the first album? Elly’s voice. It’s infinitely more sultry and smooth this time around, as opposed to the shrill, occasionally shriek-y delivery of her debut.

Paradise, indeed.

‘Trouble In Paradise’ will be released on July 7. (iTunes)

  • Thomas

    Love everything she’s released from this album so far. It definitely has a more relaxed vibe than her first album. This album is more slow-burn disco. I think it fits with the current disco revival right now and its breeziness is perfect for the album’s summer release. Even though her voice never bothered me, it’s definitely less shrill than it was before. Thanks for the post and for alerting me that she had released another new song!

  • http://about.me/mozartherbert Mozart Herbert

    Loving the new tracks. This tropical song could have a video filmed here in Brazil :P

  • Joey

    I’m obsessed with all the new tracks so far! FLAWLESS!! La Roux and Robyn would make a sick collab tbh! they’re both bringing it with their new tracks!

  • Galli

    “The way sexy was before it got made dirty.” – what the hell is she talking about? Sex is not something clean and controlled. Does this woman even have a passionate bone in her body or is her whole persona contrived to be aloof and asexual?

  • Thomas

    I think she means sexy in a non-ratchet/trashy way. For example, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were sexy, but not trashy like Kim Kardashian.