Release Date: Feb 7, 2020
Record label: Believe Direct Limited
La Roux likes to take her time: Supervision is only her third album in 11 years, and comes six years after her last release Trouble In Paradise. The retro vibes are still there, the sheen of ’80s funk making these tracks glisten, and Ely Jackson's voice is as powerful as ever. The album opens with 21st Century, perhaps the strongest track with its infectious groove and intriguing vocals ("When the 21st century's gone / we hold on, moving on"), followed by the shimmying bassline and rhythm guitar of Do You Feel.
When we last saw La Roux, back in 2014 with second full-length 'Trouble In Paradise', the immaculately-tailored musician was lounging around '70s disco, taking the pop nous of her self-titled debut and adding a layer of sun-kissed sass. Six years on, Elly Jackson can still be found in the decade that taste forgot - but there's a spark missing. At its best ('International Woman Of Leisure', '21st Century') 'Supervision' evokes vintage TOTP2 performances, neon lights and spangly lycra included.
While her vocals throughout the record are, as always, pitch and melody perfect, a large proportion of the accompanying music sounds like a free backing track. A number of them could have been ripped from a demo on a Casio keyboard and many of them sound the same. Yes, this is disappointing - but she still has the ability to create music that can stick in your head for days.
La Roux goes back to basics on a stripped back album that pinpoints its formula to the point of resolute repetition. 'Supervision' was written and recorded in Elly Jackson's Brixton kitchen, ending a wait for new material that stretches across six years. Unhappy with the major label treatment that surrounded 2014's 'Trouble In Paradise', this new DIY methodology feels like a riposte to its glossy forebear, an attempt to firmly reclaim her art, and her identity.