Earlier this year, Robyn announced that she would be releasing three records in 2010. It’s an ambitious promise that has been made before by other artists who never seem to deliver so it’s seemingly rare that someone has made true with their word. Robyn made her comeback over the course of a few years with her last record, simply titled Robyn. Could she top that?
The first in the three-part Body Talk series came out in June, an EP with 8 tracks. Lead by the single Dancing On My Own, a song with lyrics that evoke a sad loneliness with music that essentially is pretty basic but works very well with the theme of the song.
Part two of the Body Talk series was hinted at with an acoustic version of Hang With Me that ended the first disc, which became the main single from the second disc that came out in September. It didn’t quite match up to the near-masterpiece that Dancing On My Own was and thus wouldn’t have been my choice to be the one song to represent the slightly superior second disc that contained much better tracks than Hang With Me.
The third album, which is actually the only full-length record of the series, is simply titled Body Talk. (Apparently there also exists an EP called Body Talk Pt. 3 which contains the five new tracks that accompany the full-length record.) This record hit stores on Monday, November 22nd, with 15 tracks. 5 from Pt. 1, 5 from Pt. 2 and 5 unreleased songs.
For the most part, of the 19 songs released by Robyn this year (not including remixes and alternate versions), most the better ones were chosen for the full-length record. However, it’s the songs not included that I think could have made it just a little bit stronger. Include Me Out and Criminal Intent (both from Pt. 2) were left off whereas We Dance To The Beat was included, and Cry When You Get Older (from Pt. 1) was left off in favour of Dancehall Queen.
But, when you have material as strong as what Robyn has, I don’t think there’s any way to please everybody and the aforementioned tracks are still available on the first two EPs regardless.
What makes this record as strong as it is? Fembot, a futuristic, electronic, pop song which is easily among the best songs of the year, hands down. None Of Dem is a get-lost-in-the-beat mind-numbing hypnotic dance number and of course the Snoop Dogg collaboration U Should Know Better, which is probably the best back-and-forth song of the last couple of years. Snoop and Robyn trade verses like there’s nobody else that matters. Of the new songs, it’s the Max Martin collaboration that is getting the most attention. Martin was the producer behind most of Robyn’s late 90s bubblegum pop hits but they reunite for the equally as catchy Time Machine.
The three singles help anchor the album down. Hang With Me, Indestructible and the Radio Remix of Dancing On My Own is chosen to kick off Body Talk. How this trilogy was handled was ingenious and I think Robyn will definitely be remembered for her Body Talk series, already being hailed as one of the best Pop records of the last ten years.
1. Dancing On My Own [Radio Remix]
3. Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do
5. Time Machine
6. Love Kills
7. Hang With Me
8. Call Your Girlfriend
9. None Of Dem [featuring Röyksopp]
10. We Dance To The Beat
11. U Should Know Better [with Snoop Dogg]
12. Dancehall Queen
13. Get Myself Together
14. In My Eyes
15. Stars 4-Ever