The breakthrough story tag, of course, is less ambiguous. Having released the best-selling single of the year by an act who isn't Lady GaGa with 'In For The Kill', and reached number one with follow-up 'Bulletproof', La Roux have fully eclipsed the acts who finished above them on the BBC's Sound of 2009 poll: Little Boots, White Lies, Florence and the Machine and Empire of the Sun. Those brilliant singles offer a good indication of what to expect from this debut album. With its bounding keyboard melodies, simple but effective drum programming and crisp-rimmed production, La Roux sounds like an early eighties synth-pop album that's been given one hell of remastering job.
It's also an album stuffed with stonking great tunes - almost everything here comes with the sort of chorus you find yourself humming along to a little too loudly while listening to your iPod on public transport. The caveat? Jackson and Langmaid's sonic palette is limited, meaning a sense of saminess creeps into proceedings. Consequently, the standout moments tend to come when they slip in some distinguishing detail: the Thriller-style spoken word interlude on 'Tigerlily', the seemingly anachronistic reference to "early nineties decor" on 'Colourless Colour', the synth line on 'Fascination' that seems to mimic a pinball machine. Then there's the album's emotional centrepiece, 'Cover My Eyes', on which Jackson's vocals are echoed by the London Community Gospel Choir. "Every time you leave with her, something inside of me dies," she sings, with the choir swooping in to repeat her second line. It's incredibly moving stuff.
Though bound to be described by all and sundry as an "electropop record", La Roux is just as much an album about teenage love. Jackson, now 21, has revealed that these songs were inspired by a "traumatic" five-year relationship that didn't work out. After listening to La Roux, few would quibble with her choice of adjective. She gets all stalkerish on 'Tigerlily', realises she's in too deep on 'Quicksand', wonders why she's not The One on 'As If By Magic', takes comfort in her memories on 'Reflections are Protections', and offers this despairing couplet on 'Armour Love': "When you leave me alone in the world, you know that I'm in hell." These are feelings and experiences lots of us can relate to, wrapped in pop songs lots of us will enjoy listening to, meaning there's only one logical conclusion here. La Roux have fully earned their breakthrough.