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Sidetracked

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Album Review

La Roux’s volume of Renaissance’s mix album series Sidetracked underscores that Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid have a clear — but not simplistic — aesthetic. It’s not a shock that their mix features plenty of ‘80s synth pop. However, La Roux are among the few ‘80s revivalists that understand that decade’s sounds so well that they embody them instead of just rehashing them. Here, they present some synth pop gems that have a few wrinkles underneath their smooth surfaces: Blancmange’s percolating “What’s Your Problem” and Freur’s “Doot Doot” are quintessential without being ubiquitous. Japan’s version of “I Second That Emotion” — which channels Roxy Music as much as it does Smokey Robinson — is a particularly inspired choice, since Jackson’s vocals often reveal more soulful influences than the mechanical sounds that dominate La Roux. However, Langmaid and Jackson’s choices aren’t just a template for their music (although Joyce Sims’ “You Are My All and All,” which blends powerful vocals with tinny electronics, is definitely part of their blueprint). The dark, sparkling disco-funk of Dutch group Fox the Fox’s “Precious Little Diamond” and Gerry Rafferty’s smooth “Right Down the Line” are left-field choices that add more personality to the mix, and Doris Troy’s “Just One Look” is such a stone-cold classic that La Roux didn’t bother remixing or otherwise tampering with it. Not every song here is from the past: La Roux include tracks from their contemporaries, even though those artists are fond of the ‘80s too. The D. Lissivik remix of Fever Ray’s “When I Grow Up” retrofits the track with synth pan-pipes and electro toms that recall that decade's worldbeat craze and trade otherworldliness for cheeky faux-exoticism. I Blame Coco’s bittersweet “Self-Machine” and Kavinsky’s “Testarossa Autodrive (SebastiAn Remix)” also have a decidedly retro feel (Kavinsky has another single named “1986” for a reason). For their own track, however, Langmaid and Jackson go even further back in time to the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb,” yet it’s one of the most modern-sounding songs they’ve recorded. A cohesive mix with just enough twists to make it interesting, this volume of Sidetracked will satisfy pop fans and crate-diggers alike.

Customer Reviews

A Good Compilation of Influential Artists to La Roux

People are getting confused that this is a new La Roux album, however it is NOT. This is a compilation of songs that inspired influenced Elly and Ben o make music. This album is actually really old, it only just got released on iTunes a few days ago, although it has actually been out since 2010. They are still currently working on their sophomore album, which, obviously has yet to be released. This is simply a compilation of artists that influenced them...needless to say it isn't a new album from La Roux, but it is a good compilation of good ol' 80s tunes.

What the heck?

Where is the real La Roux what why aren't u singing Elly?

come on elly im getting impatent

releas some new music !! we have been waiting 3 years all ready, these are not even your songs the new album was saposed to come out in may !!

Biography

Formed: 2006 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Meaning "red-haired one" in French, La Roux is the synth pop project of flame-haired singer/songwriter Elly Jackson and keyboardist/producer Ben Langmaid. Before they collaborated, Jackson, the daughter of actress Trudie Goodwin, grew up listening to folk artists and singer/songwriters like Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell, and drew inspiration from their sounds for her early music. However, Jackson's style changed as she got into the rave scene, taking her music in a more electronic direction. Meanwhile,...
Full Bio
Sidetracked, La Roux
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Customer Ratings

Influencers

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