808s / Album Review

Album Review – Body Talk Pt 1 (Robyn)

After 5 years of touring the same material, it’s no wonder that Swedish pop icon Robyn is looking to try something new this time round. Set to release no fewer than 3 records in the next year, has moving away from the standard length album and adopting an 8 track format paid off for the first part of her Body Talk series?
Body Talk Pt 1 sees Robyn sticking to the fundamental ideas that made her eponymous international breakthrough album such a brilliant record. One listen to lead single Dancing On My Own proves that Robyn hasn’t moved too far away from the sound established in her UK number  1 With Every Heartbeat. The standout track of the collection, the sweeping synth and a piercing breakdown that ends so explosively even the staunchest of upper lips will be forced to quiver. No one does Dance-floor heartbreak like Robyn.
Dancing On My Own aside, these powerful moments lodge themselves inside of every track on Body Talk Pt 1, from the soaring chorus of surprisingly chirpy Cry When You Get Older to the extended Royksopp produced instrumental in None of Dem, these moments are what make the album such a grower rather than the instant marvel seen on Robyn in 2005. No track showcases this more than confusing opener Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do though-the title alone proving that the swagger seen on 2007’s Handle Me is still present and correct here-it takes around 5 listens for the 3 minute thudding chant of things currently ‘killing’ Robyn to make sense.
Body Talk Pt 1 is an album of contrast though, the final two tracks being stripped down piano/string led ballads, the version of traditional Swedish song Jag vet en dejlig Rosa that closes the album is such an unusual choice for a pop artist like Robyn, the piercing vocal delivery making these closers feel understated and yet powerful. When she isn’t crying over a lost lover in Hang With Me though, Robyn is out dancing, each of the opening 6 tracks begging for a dance heavy music video. The most danceable tracks on the album are buzz single Fembot and Dancehall Queen-the Sleng Teng shoutout and the line ‘automatic booty applications’ making them two of the most memorable tracks on the album.
At just 8 tracks long, it’s lucky that Robyn is planning Body Talk Pt 2 for a release in September, as no other album this year has been so consistent with quality across every one of its tracks. Body Talk Pt 1 was a major risk, but it’s one that has paid off thanks to tight lyrics, sweeping production and the swagger that puts Robyn up there with the best female artists currently recording.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

You can purchase Body Talk Pt 1 on iTunes by following the link below. 

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