First Impressions: Pop Sensibility Erupts On Robyn's 'Body Talk'

Friday, December 3, 2010


Pop music usually gets a lot of flack for being "passive". That so-called embarrassment you only play when you're alone in the dark. That genre that has been finger pointed at plaguing and altering other more well-respected genres. Don't shake your head, it's true. Someone even told me that pop "raped" hip-hop and soul because turn on the radio and the evidence is all there. Still, they obviously haven't heard of Robyn. The Swedish pop delight has always been consistent and true to the form of creating pop tunes that are accessible and wildly addicting--the essential ingredients to a pop tune. She has been doing this for awhile, since 1997 to be correct. Robyn has come a long way since her 1997 debut, Robyn Is Here, where she played the R&B/Pop cards of the 90's nicely with hits like "Show Me Love" and "Do You Know What It Takes". She has since altered her sound and really brought the term "sophisticated pop" back to into usage. 

It shows on how she crafted the Body Talk album series. Releasing Body Talk into three increments over the course of this year proved be a cool alternative the album listening experience. Yet, in the end, it became tedious and disrupt it's flow. Nice try and all, but Body Talk has to be heard in it's entirety.

So let's hear the body talk...for a third time.

Body Talk is a workshop on how to do Pop music the right way...well, if you like you're Pop with a shivering chill of icy synths, brooding back beats that pulse distantly, and a singer who sings as if guilty feet have got no rhythm. While the grooves may provoke you to dance, it's more haunting in its context. This was evident on the heart breaker known as "Dancing On My Own", which kick-started the Body Talk project off superbly. For me, it the real showpiece of this album and makes a bigger statement than it did on Body Talk Pt. 1. There are a number of familiars here, as we get five from each of the previous segments. "Hang With Me" is here in its coy and apologetic style, along with the glistening Giorgio Moroder influenced,  "Indestructible". The Royksopp assisted, "None Of Dem" takes some hip-hop cues with it's tart and gruff attitude, something that Robyn is really great at pulling out on her albums. Personal favorite, "In My Eyes" sort of deserved to open up the set, with it's avalanche of synth destruction, yet "Fembot" opens everything on the robotic romance path the album dives into.

Then we have the newbies, the four-song additions to the greatness of tracks like "Dancing On My Own" and the icy "We Dance To The Beat". All nestle in quite nicely with the rest. Featuring a nifty Back To The Future reference, "Time Machine" pounds in a swift jolt and is a real staggering pop treat. The agility of "Stars-4-Ever" closes the album out on a high note, and whittles it way into being a top track from this. 

Lots of mechanical things are present on Body Talk, and it has a crisp and sterile sound, like the sophisticated pop sound of the 80's, not to mention, it really engulfing once you indulge in all of it's 15 tracks. 15 tracks may test the attention span, but every single song no matter if it's weak or strong demands attention. Is this the perfect pop album? Well, the inclusion of "Don't F**king Tell Me What To Do" and the laziness of "U Should Know Better" (featuring a real out-of-place Snoop Dogg) sort of hamper that idea, not to mention I would've shuffled the tracklisting around. Still, nit-picking aside, Body Talk is simply great, and gives Pop a backbone again by making love in the technological sense so poetically and sonically fitting.

Rating: 9.4/10
Release Date: November 30, 2010

1 comment:

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE
    Rrrrrrroooooooooooooobbbbbbbbbbbbyyyyyyynnnnnnnnn!

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