La Roux Supervision Supercolour
La Roux’s Elly Jackson is no stranger to making hits. She scored her first international smash with In for the Kill four days after her 21st birthday. She quickly became the sound of off-centre British pop, along with then-musical partner Ben Langmaid. Now a solo act, Jackson returns for Supervision, La Roux’s third studio album and a smoother, more subdued project.
Whereas La Roux’s earlier songs were compressed tightly into radio-friendly singles that were as fleeting as they were catchy, Supervision lets each song simmer for longer than you’d expect. A more laid-back approach to her typically upbeat synths and guitars gives Jackson’s voice more room to explore its range. It’s easy to listen to, but just as easy to tune out; where songs like Bulletproof and In for the Kill demanded attention, Supervision plays out in the background, like the Wham!-tinged Everything I Live For, which fades from memory quickly, in part because of Jackson’s gentler songwriting. Tracks like the seven-minute epoch Gullible Fool owe as much to George Michael’s soulful belting as they do to Carole King’s folksy ballads.
La Roux is known best for synth pop bangers, and while Supervision doesn’t lean into her signature melodramatics, this album seems perfectly comfortable at its own pace – it just might be a bit too slow to keep up.