Album: La Roux (2009)
Charted: 1 8
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was the third single to be released by the London-based electro-pop duo La Roux from their self-titled debut album.
  • Singer Elly Jackson explained this song to the BBC Newsbeat program: "For me Bulletproof is just about looking at a situation that's usually a reoccurring one. It could be to do with anything in your life - whatever you want it to be about. I don't like being specific about what my tracks are about to me because its not really about that. It serves its purpose for me and once you put it out into the public - it then becomes what anyone wants it to be about. But it's just vaguely about, realising there's a reoccurring situation in your life, something which keeps happening to you or keeps knocking you back. Something that you can't quite get over. It's about going to yourself, 'No, I'm not going to do this to myself again because it's not good for me and I'm going to be bulletproof'."
  • Jackson told Newsbeat about her first reaction to the finished video, in which she is styled in High Fashion clothes: "I saw the finished version last week and I love it. I love the fact that it's not '80s - that was really what I wanted from this video. I don't want every video and every single thing from here on out to be this 80s recurring theme. I didn't just want to be seen as an 80s revival artist and that was really important to me in this video. It's a really good, contemporary, slick looking video - without looking too American as well which is really important."
  • This was La Roux's first UK #1. It debuted at the top position in the week that Michael Jackson died, so it was apt that a Jackson, in this instance Elly, was involved in that week's premier song.
  • Jackson told BBC Radio 1 that this song helped claim the duo their record deal. She explained that they wrote it, "just before we met our manager and it was sort of our deal-sealing tune, I guess."
  • Jackson argues that love songs have to be approached in a different way to succeed. She explained: "'Bulletproof' is a very different love song. In fact, it's a relationship song about being fed up – fed up of treating myself like this, and of letting myself be treated like this. It's saying I'm not going to do this anymore, or make the same mistakes anymore. It's been very good for women who are just breaking up with men, or independent women. It's like my Destiny's Child song, I guess.
    I remember my lawyer saying that 'Bulletproof' had been great for him. I asked why, and he said he had been breaking up with his girlfriend, and their relationship had been on and off. Apparently, 'Bulletproof' was their song for a while."
  • Jackson believes that the essence of songwriting for her is, "not just about writing lyrics and melody, it's the whole thing." She explained: "We're never going to be one of those groups that writes 100 songs then picks the best ten. If we start a song and we don't like it after half an hour, we just don't go back to it. (La Roux partner) Ben won't even let me put a proper beat in until we've written the song. You can always tell a good song, no matter what style it's in, by whether you can pick up a guitar, or go on the piano, and play it.
    'Bulletproof' is a good example. We started it, and it felt really good. We had a great verse, and then we did about five choruses. The lyric went 'This time I'll be... ' and there was too much of a gap. We'd both been sitting there in silence for ages trying to work it out. Suddenly, we both looked up and went 'This time, baby' and thought, 'Yes, let's get it down.' I do remember that when we wrote that, we thought 'Call the manager, we've got the one.'"
    (The above two quotes are taken from The Ivor Novello Essays published at Basca.org.uk/).
  • Elly Jackson was not impressed that Fox Business Network played the song in 2018 to introduce a segment about using bulletproof clothing to protect school children from mass shootings. She told Pitchfork that it totally misrepresents the intended metaphor of the song:

    "Using 'Bulletproof,' a song I wrote about relationships, for a piece like this is abhorrent," she said. "I have never, and would never approve my music to be used in this way."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 5

  • Megan from Stevenson, AlOMG! I LOVE THIS SONG! It's just so amazing! It sounds so old, but so modern at the same time. SO AWESOME!!!
  • Beth from N/a, VaAt first, I thought the video-game music at the opening was a little cheesy, but the lyrics are really good. This may be one of her best songs. She puts off a confident, sexy vibe.
  • Tricia from Rockville Centre, NyThis song basically sums up what I am going thru at the moment....a guy that is in and out of my life and this time I am (like the song) BULLETPROOF! Well said, cleverly sung! :-)
  • Kim from Mobile, AlI absolutley love this song. It couldn't have come at a better time, I have a situation I need to get away from. When she comments above that you have to watch how you do love songs, she's right. Instead of them making you feel worse, this one just pumps me up and makes me feel like I can really get through it. Which it what a great song should consist of!! :)
  • Charlie from London, United Kingdomshe's gorgeous. i love her eyes.
see more comments

Meshell NdegeocelloSongwriter Interviews

Meshell Ndegeocello talks about recording "Wild Night" with John Mellencamp, and explains why she shied away from the spotlight.

90s MetalFact or Fiction

Test your metal - Priest, Maiden, and Beavis and Butt-head show up in this one.

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.

Amanda PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Call us crazy, but we like it when an artist comes around who doesn't mesh with the status quo.

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.