Chart Watch: La Roux Risks Losing Blogger Love with Hit

     For the past three months, a former UK No. 1 single has been slowly and quietly climbing the Hot 100.  It's called "Bulletproof"and it's by synth pop-duo La Roux.  Last week, the track lept into the top 20 and this week, it jumps up to No. 14.  La Roux is led by frontwoman Elly Jackson.  Armed with a voice like an electric screwdriver (don't worry, it actually does grow on you) and hair that Lady Gaga wishes she thought of and made a hat like, Jackson is ready to take La Roux to unimagined levels of success in the States...that is, until the very people who broke them here decide they're moving on to the next big thing because La Roux has become pretentious.

     Sound familiar?  It's a trend that is becoming all too common in the modern pop landscape.  A decade ago, Disney was the pop factory that popped out stars (even though they still do, Miley isn't near the level of Britney ten years ago), but now, its a more democratic process.  I'm not talking about American Idol, I'm talking about blogs.

     La Roux actually released "Bulletproof" a year ago, where it topped the charts.  They were huge over there, and thanks to the modern miracle of the world wide web, there was buzz in across the Atlantic too.  Music blogs fell in love with La Roux.  Articles were written, articles were read, and torrents of their debut album were downloaded.  By the time "Bulletproof" was aimed for America, La Roux already had early anticipating fans in the form of bloggers, music enthusiasts, and trend setters.  In fact, a month ago, Gawker featured an article calling La Roux the thinking person's Lady Gaga.  The funny thing is, over a year ago, Lady Gaga was the thinking person's Lady Gaga.

     The very people who were singing Gaga's praises before "Just Dance" crash landed in the top ten were the same people who knew the "Paper Planes" singer's stage name was Emm Eye Aye and not Maya before the general population even heard the Clash sampling song.  Like Gaga and M.I.A., La Roux is starting off her career with the blogosphere's blessing, but will they end up dumping her like her predecessors?  Lady Gaga, although bigger than ever, is facing some backlash as writers dismiss her as pretentious and fake.  M.I.A.'s credentials as a voice to the voiceless of the third world is being mocked as she continues to make more and more money.  And let's not even get started about her tweeting a reporter's phone number because she was mad about an article.

     If either Lady Gaga or M.I.A. remained underground, none of the backlash would have happened, and they would still be universally loved.  What does that mean for La Roux?  If "Bulletproof" becomes the runaway indie-pop smash of the summer, will Gawker writers be talking about the thinking person's La Roux in twelve months time?

     In other chart news, Usher remains at No. 1 for a third non-consecutive week with Will.I.Am on "OMG" while the tacky Katy Perry "California Gurls" [sic] falls to No. 3.  Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus debuts in the top ten with "Can't Be Tamed".

1. "OMG" - Usher feat. Will.I.Am (third week at No. 1)
2. "Airplanes" - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams
3. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg
4. "Break Your Heart" - Taio Cruz feat. Ludacris
5. "Nothin' on You" - B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars
6. "Alejandro" - Lady Gaga
7. "Your Love Is My Drug" - Ke$ha
8. "Can't Be Tamed" - Miley Cyrus
9. "Not Afraid" - Eminem
10. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna


Caitlin said...

La Roux is done. They are a good a band- but once they hit the top ten with mainstream music, all of their base fans will disappear... I am surprised it hasn't happened with MGMT yet.

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