Album Watch: Robyn Let's Her 'Body Talk' For The Second Time

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Flat out, Body Talk Pt. 1 was pretty cruddy. I know. Gasp. Shock. Awe. Save for the fantastical, "Dancing On My Own" and the freeze tag of "Fembot", the rest sort of soggily plodded along for me. Blaming it on it being only eight songs shy of a full deck is a lame excuse considering  Lady GaGa's pitch perfect shortie, The Fame Monster showed that quality versus quantity is a reality. Body Talk Pt. 1 was clearly a warm up, the first pancake that you put on the griddle and discard because it is all kinds of lopsided. It was experimental to say the least.

Considering how bleak the first half was, Body Talk Pt. 2 (which will be released in September) sounds like a masterpiece, especially when the fantastic, "In My Eyes" pounces on in. There are cheeky snarky lyrics abound that spice up the platter, plenty of infectious blips and beeps of synth work to keep your ears busy, not to mention a more cohesive flow that sounds less indulgent and more honest. Still it's not all roses, just redeemable. 

Let me talk some more about "In My Eyes" which wants to be on the Miami Vice soundtrack...badly. It is infested with synths, tumbling drum machines and , it's totally 80's and totally great. It is shockingly much more exciting than "Dancing On My Own" and makes all my sythn dreams come true.

In My Eyes 

"Include Me Out" has a quasi-90's pop feel to it, almost like it belongs on 1998's My Truth. Yes, I can't let 90's Robyn go, but it viciously sounds like it was a B-side from that era that got spruced up, but it is infectious."Criminal Intent" sounds like something Christina Aguilera should have done on Bionic, but I probably would've slashed her for it. It's rooted in a punchy hip-hop staunch, and it sounds like it would fit on American radio perfectly. I scarily can hear Nicki Minaj guest starring on a remix of this...and don't think I enjoyed thinking that, but still the song has a real dirty pop quality that is appealing. "Love Kills" nags it's way into being good, its a little plain in the composition, but it sprints around and .

Love Kills

We've covered the ground that is "Hang With Me", and it is without a doubt another gem in Robyn's song catalog, it has a real end-of-summer smoothness to it. Body Talk Pt. 2 begins to take a dive when "We Dance To The Beat" tries to convince me that it's some avant garde dance chant, but it borders on annoying after awhile. The worst is the insufferable "U Should Know Better" which features Snoop Dogg and it sort of leaves a bitter taste behind. So six out of eight tracks (the acoustic "Indestructible" will no doubt get a dance treatment on the 3rd set)  isn't a true disappointment, it's just the album as a whole still feels a little distant, with a jumble of good, semi-good and terrible ideas bounced around.

This is sort of the plight of the Body Talk project, it just feels disjointed. Now that Body Talk Pt. 2 is around, we have 16 songs to sort through, and you can easily make your own Body Talk super album. This is sort of Choose Your Own Adventure book treatment is what happened with Kylie Minogue's X from 2007. There were so many leaked tracks, and so many hated album tracks, that fans just made their own album. Something that shouldn't have to be done, but in this day n' Internet age, it's an inventive way to go, especially if you have a lot of songs to fiddle with on a playlist. The Body Talk project seems like it's going to have the same fate as's going to be reorganized, remixed and revamped to the point where it will be your own personal Robyn album. Still some aspect of a cohesive album is lost due to the numerous alterations you can make to it. But I guess that is the whole point. We'll see how my opinion of this supposed tatic fares when the third and final part of the Body Talk trilogy, Speak Your Body: Body Talk Pt. 3 drops in store later on this year.

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