If Robyn has a hit list (and she probably doesn’t, because she’s from Sweden and probably ridiculously polite), there are probably several of today’s biggest pop stars on it. Britney Spears would be one. After all, shortly after Robyn scored her initial U.S. success in the late Nineties with hits like “Show Me Love”, Britney came along with a similar sound (the songs were crafted by the same production team), added in a touch of near-skank, and promptly relegated Robyn to an afterthought. It would be a full decade before the Swedish songstress released an album in the States, but it was as worth the wait as any album by ANYONE could be after a 10-year gap. “Robyn” was a cheeky slice of sassy electro-pop. Take the best parts of Lady GaGa, Missy Eliott and a little of whatever Christina Aguilera’s doing these days, and you get an idea of what Robyn’s return was all about.
Although “Robyn” the album was critically acclaimed, it didn’t move too many units in the States. A damn shame, that-especially considering it was maybe the best pop album of the year. Undeterred (and a huge star in other parts of the globe), Robyn returns with the EP “Body Talk Pt. 1”. It’s more of the same. Robyn talks shit with the best of them and the production is tailor-made for a night out, but she wisely doesn’t forget that the best music has heart, and there’s tons of emotion behind these butt-shaking grooves.
Songs like “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What to Do” (on which Robyn runs down a list of all the things that are pissing her off) and “Dancehall Queen” are attitudinal, but not in a snotty, off-putting way. Again reminiscent of Elliott, there’s a girl-next-door appeal to her sassiness. Also like Elliott, she can SING, as evidenced by the ballad “Hang with Me”. For my money, the best of the eight tracks is “Dancing on My Own”. Much like “Robyn”‘s standout track “Be Mine!”, “Dancing” is hooky, absolutely danceable…and completely heartbreaking from a lyrical standpoint. The juxtaposition of throbbing beat and downcast lyric creates a tension that makes for a fantastic song.
With two more volumes of “Body Talk” scheduled for release in the next year or so, Robyn fully intends to take the music scene by storm. Hopefully lovers of great pop music seek her out and help her succeed in her mission.