Band Name: Ella Rouge
Album Name: Ella Rouge
Best Element: Strong piano, great melodies
Genre: Piano Pop
Label Name: Moby Dick Records
Band E-mail: www.myspace.com/ellarouge
Ella Rouge’s debut fades in with a spacey synthesizer line reminiscent of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” which quickly transforms into the mini prog-rock sing-along “That’s Me with the Gun.” As album openers go, they really couldn’t have done much better. Ella Rouge wears its seventies influences on its sleeve. And why not? Lead singer Ludvig Anderson is the son of Benny Anderson, one fourth of Abba, one of the biggest seventies groups of all time.
Ella Rouge revels in the classic piano rock of vintage Billy Joel and Supertramp. They’re at their best delivering songs like “Eldorado High” and “Jekyll N Hyde”; pop-rockers with the kind of indelible melodies that would make them hits in any generation. Similarly, “L.A. Dogs” sounds like Rob Thomas at his funkiest and “Light the Fuses 82’s” is an anthem in waiting. Like their inspirations, Ella Rouge has a softer side as well. Some of these moments work brilliantly (the old fashioned power ballads “Famous Jack” and “Holly Golightly”), while some do nothing more than slow down the band’s momentum (“Manhattan” and “Gender Jaded”).
With limp bands like Five For Fighting and The Fray currently locking up the radio, Ella Rouge should take their place as the rightful superior in this trend of piano rock. While the album isn’t perfect (a different -and tad shorter- running order would take care of that), it does herald the arrival of a band with limitless potential, a band who realizes the importance of classic pop melody. And, in these times of blippy catchphrase songwriting, sometimes that’s all it takes. B+
– Nick James