La Roux | Supervision | Album Review
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
After a long hiatus, La Roux has finally released a new album, titled Supervision. Beware when first taking a listen: that isn’t the Spice Girls mixed with a children’s cartoon theme song; no, that really is La Roux. Unfortunately.
Supervision has an identity crisis. Two thirds of the album is what is described above, over-the-top peppy pop more cacophonous than euphonious. The opening track, “21st Century,” begins with a catchy pop-synth beat, promising a good song. If only this were the case. The vocals of “21st Century” are so high-pitched they’re likely to shatter glass, or worse, the listener’s ear drums. “International Woman of Leisure” is another good example of vocals being so shrill that it’s hard to make out the actual lyrics.
The last third of Supervision has great potential. Coming in the latter portion of the album, “Otherside” has a beat like something out of a Rick Ross song, which strangely fits its slower, more thoughtful lyricism. La Roux repeats the phrase “I know I’m coming from the other side” in a way that makes it almost as compulsively-listenable as “Bulletproof.”
The shining gem of the album is without a doubt “Gullible Fool,” perhaps because the song is absolutely nothing like the rest of the tracks. Whatever the case, “Gullible Fool” taps into the deep emotional stress singer Elly Jackson has been under over the past decade, which she described to Dazed as “a very, very, very mini breakdown.” In that time, among other things, Jackson saw the collapse of two romantic relationships.
All of this is captured, rather powerfully, in “Gullible Fool.” The song opens with the lines “Lies / But I will believe in anything / Oh I will believe in love / And I will believe in you / Gullible fool.” Backed by pop-synth beats and piano melody, “Gullible Fool” is powerful from second one, working overtime to hold together the rest of the album.
While Supervision is nothing notable as an album, it isn’t a complete flop. If nothing else, “Otherside” and “Gullible Fool” are worth a listen. One can only hope that La Roux will use these tracks as guides for future albums.