"My drinking's killing me." This is Swedish electro pop queen Robyn's opening declaration on her sophomore album, Body Talk Pt. 1
. A fitting start to an album rich in pained emotional complexity, but with Robyn's precise and catchy beats and demanding to be danced to melodies, that is as much a delight to be clutched to in times of heart and headache as on a relentless dancefloor.
The anxiety and angst heavy statements of "Don't F*cking Tell Me What to Do," with its steady build up of a stream of realistic complaints over an easily stuck in head throbbing bass and beat heavy melody, is a celebration of all the nuisances of our society. Technology, money, work, family, lifewhen a fierce pop star tackles these inevitable pressures, she turns all that is dreadful into an infectious modern anthem.
"Fembot" is a classically Robyn, delicious pop celebration with her signature sweet but sassy voice playing a technologically formed femme fatale. And, up to par with her prior heartbroken pop masterpiece "Be Mine," "Dancing on My Own" infuses wretched longing and a relentless independent spirit in face of that other girl. The trembling desperation in the bridge carries countless unspoken desires, and when the song explodes back to its melodic rhythm, it's a rich and emotional fulfillment, a humming melody of blissful pain and vivid drama.
"Cry When You Get Older" is an ode to the troubled and fervent youth searching for escape from suburbia within the spiral of synths toward that glittering chorus, and captures the plight of the girl who wishes for "more to life than this" and the boy who warnes, "be careful because you might just get your wish." "Dancehall Queen" is a reggae and hip hop influenced testament to the persistent girl who dances in face of adversity, and "None of Dem" follows the darker tone of the song with a threatening bassline and growled melody that dismisses the world that does not impress. "None of dem kicks go boom/none of dem baseline fill the room," but Robyn's bitter track does just that with a powerful need for more that mirrors the complaints of her opening track.
"Hang with Me" and "Jag Vet En Dejlig Rosa" closes the album on a far more subdued, melancholy note. The former is all acoustic, drenched only in the sadness of her wishes, "just don't fall recklessly heedlessly in love with me." Her sensitivity that seems contradictory to the rest of the spirit of the album reveals her ultimate vulnerability. The last track, a melancholic Swedish lullaby, wraps the fierce and catchy passion of the album in a softness and loneliness that trembles at the edge of Robyn's voice in an echoing display of delicate beauty.
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MP3: "Fembot" (Body Talk Pt. 1)
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