British Pop Duo La Roux Breaks the U.S. with “Bulletproof”

  • Being the thorough Anglophile that I am, I always applaud the U.S. success of a British recording artist. (Well, except when it’s James Blunt, and thank God that was short-lived.)

    But rarely have UK artists as original as La Roux, the electropop duo led by flame-coiffed singer Elly Jackson, broken into America’s Top 40. Well, congratulations are in order: La Roux’s 2009 hit, “Bulletproof,” is No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it’s scaling the charts at a cougar’s pace. (I loved the song enough to include it on my Best of 2009 list.)

    While Elly Jackson’s piercing voice defines the phrase “acquired taste,” the ’80s-influenced “Bulletproof” features one of her most accessible vocals.

    Now we only need to get Florence + the Machine into the Top 30. I have to ask, why is Gaga still getting all the press Florence deserves? Ms. Welch can out-sing, out-dance, and out-diva Gaga any day of the week. (I love me some “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance,” but c’mon people.) I’m really getting impatient with my fellow Americans. (Hey, it took seven years for us to recognize the brilliance that is Kate Bush. Let’s try not to repeat the same mistake, mmkay?)

  • Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd) has apologized to Elliott Smith fans after the promotional team for his tour defaced the late singer-songwriter’s L.A. memorial.(NME)
  • Towleroad directs us video of Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke‘s solo single, “Tenderoni.” Clearly, our boy has been hitting the gym pretty hard. Nice.

  • Enron, the play which was such a smashing success in the UK, was a flop on Broadway and will close on Sunday.(Telegraph)
  • Who does television better: Britain or the U.S.?(The Times)
  • The Times talks to Steve Winwood ahead of his tour with fellow rock god Eric Clapton. Winwood reminisces about his ’80s pop hits (like “Higher Love”), which appalled many of the singer/guitarist’s longtime fans. “I do think one of my problems is that I can be easily led. Sometimes in the wrong directions; that’s happened a few times, especially in the mid-1980s. People can have a strong influence on me – like label executives, who, rightly or wrongly, from their perspective see me as a product, and go, ‘You should make records like so-and-so, because they’re selling millions, and you’re not.’”
  • The Stage has video of a BBC-hosted seminar for writers of “continuing drama” a.k.a. “soaps.”

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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