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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Robyn - Body Talk Pt 1

As the title suggests, the new long-player from Swedish singer/songwriter Robyn Miriam Carlsson is the first in a series, and it only takes a few seconds of opening track Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do to make the proposed three albums seem like a very appealing prospect. Over an insistent electro-dance beat, her spoken-word delivery lists a collection of apprehensions and vices. “My drinking’s killing me… My heels are killing me… My email’s killing me.” Half a swipe at the superficiality of modern living, half a genuine window into the singer’s anxieties, it’s an intriguing start.

Moving on, the odd cartoon rap-pop of Fembot is followed by lead single, Dancing On My Own, which is a sweeping industrial dance anthem. “I’m in the corner watching you kiss her,” the chorus cries like the lovesick offspring of Ultravox’s Dancing With Tears in My Eyes and Robyn’s own mega-hit, With Every Heartbeat.

Dancehall Queen is a collaboration with Philadelphia DJ Diplo which reprises mid-90s Euro dance. Whether the world needs a homage to this era is questionable but there is a certain charm to this unabashed, Ace Of Base cheesefest. Counterbalancing it, None Of Dem (which features Norwegian duo Röyksopp) is dark and brooding and is followed by Hang With Me, a straightforward ballad over strings and piano, and Jag Vet En Dejilg Rosa, a haunting traditional Swedish folk song.

With the eight songs clocking in at half-an-hour yet still managing to seamlessly travel in so many directions, Body Talk Pt 1 is quite the achievement and really whets the appetite for parts two and three.