Six years of waiting is long enough. It builds up the excitement and a certain expectation, but it can also prove disastrous in music. Depending on the outcome this can make or break an album, and we’ve all seen examples of both.
There’s no doubt that since La Roux’s immense last album there has been an unusual silence. It’s understandable that after a good record, musicians tend to take some time off to decide their next steps. And that usually leads to one of two things: either they try to make a similar record or a completely different one. With Supervision, La Roux has tried to do something in between, but the outcome seems to be… confusing.
I know for sure that I was not expecting something as majestic as 2016’s Trouble In Paradise; however, I was waiting for something that could give a new direction to her music. But Supervision seems to disappoint. A feeling that kept following me during the whole record. Even if there are some interesting moments, such as ‘Otherside’, ‘Gullible Fool’, ‘International Woman of Leisure’, there seems to be a lack of production. Or at least, nothing near its highly polished predecessor.
The record seems to have a consistent sound trough it, almost too consistent. Although in some cases that could work, Supervision is not one of those, unfortunately. There were moments where it was difficult to tell when a song was over, and when another one had started. The sounds of 80’s synths seem to haunt the whole record, to the point where it just gets predictable, and most of all, exhausting.
Elly Jackson has always had an outstanding voice, and this is something that once again shines through in Supervision. But that makes you wonder what this record could have been?
Having said that, Supervision still deserves a listen. There are still moments where the La Roux we love shows her face. It’s hard to forget sometimes as a critic – and also a fan – that making an outstanding record is not an easy feat. Supervision is not bad, but it’s typical. It just feels like it’s following a pop routine that you can easily find in many other records out there.
The problem of having released a record like Trouble In Paradise is that people are waiting for something unusual. Expectations are high when the talent is huge. And in La Roux’s case, that can be a blessing or sometimes, a curse.
Success is available to purchase and stream now.