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While we Americans did just celebrate our independence from England, there are a handful of British imports we should be thankful for — Flake bars, Russell and, particularly, La Roux. The twosome — Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid — hit mainstream in the States by the end of 2009 with their curious, impossibly compelling mix of 8-bit-bent electro-pop laced with Jackson’s haunting, hunted vocals and undeniable amounts of vulnerability. La Roux’s style — a decadent yet detached, Bowie-meets-Blanchett (with a dash of Elvis and the Eurythmics) mashup of color and images only added to their hypnotic

Jackson doesn’t sing with the detached cool of Depeche Mode or the Human League but with the emotional exuberance of Yaz and Erasure. In the early ’80s, that combination of cold synth sounds and soulful vocals seemed modern. Today it seems nostalgic. But, in the hands of La Roux, it sounds as fun as it ever did.

Though the slick tracks on La Roux are upbeat and danceable, the lyrics still convey heavy themes like obsession and heartbreak. "That was the aim," Elly admits. "Just to be really honest. A lot of modern pop doesn't speak to me.

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