808s / Everything Changes But The Music

Everything Changes But The Music (Part 7)


Robyn – Dancing On My Own  – 2010

So here we are, the seventh and final part of a blog series that should have been one post long. I have thouroughly enjoyed looking back on the songs that have appeared thus far, and the stories I remember related to each. To close things I thought I would bring things full circle with my current place in music with my favourite song since 2007.

I discovered Robyn in 2008, the year after she had topped the charts with With Every Heartbeat and had success with a few singles that followed. I bought her eponymous album on a whim after seeing it cheap in Woolworths (I’m amazed how much of this story I can remember) and listened to it in the computer room as most of my music listening was done at the time. The sound of the record was unlike anything I had every heard before, and yet entirely relatable to every genre I enjoyed. This is probably a few months before the Kanye era to put things in perspective, so Pop music was still my main arena.

Robyn was pop music, pushed to all kinds of extremes, with full electronic, hip hop and old school sounds clashing with an emotional distinctly Scandinavian vocal from Robyn. It was songs like Konichiwa Bitches that caught me off guard, where Robyn would be rapping over more and more frenetic production. I loved the album, and I was sure to be a fan of the singer from then one.

Robyn was one of those albums that took a very long time for me to fully appreciate though. At the time I loved it, but it took a few more years, and my obsession for lists, comparing things and the music industry in general to come into fruition before I fully grasped Robyn’s talents. 2009 was the year of The Girl and the Robot, a Royksopp song that happened to feature the vocals of Robyn. This had me so ready for a new record set to be in 2010, in turn covering that Robyn was in fact the singer’s fourth studio album. This girl had been going for years, she was a professional nearly 15 years into her career. I learned of her leaving her old record label to found her own just so she could make the music she wanted to.

2010 arrived and following the announcement of three albums in the year to come, the last of these important songs debuted. I’ve expressed in great detail (here) exactly why Dancing On My Own was my song of 2010, about how I knew after that first listen this was a big record. What I hadn’t expected is the emotional side of my music experience to be unearthed. As you can probably tell from this blog, my tastes in music are focused mostly on the ‘sound’ of each record, the production, singer’s tone and structure of the song coming together as music.

Dancing On My Own is different, the lyrics really came alive when I heard this song, the cry that Robyn ‘just came to say goodbye’ being as heartbreaking on the record as it was when I saw her perform it in manchester earlier this year. Definitely my moment of the year, seeing her perform the song was unlike anything I had experienced before. The way i responded to the lyrics opened up a whole new avenue of appreciating music, and though it may seem silly to most, I finally started ‘listening’ to what people were saying. It was the perfect moment the perfect song and the perfect performance that secured Robyn’s place near the top of my favourite artists list, and I can’t wait to experience it again.

So there we go, 7 songs that I believe will stay with me for the rest of my life. Honestly this was not supposed to become my memoirs, I did get carried away retelling some stories that not all readers on here would have known. Starting tomorrow, or tonight, or whenever I get around to it, I will be kicking off my Best of 2011 series, which will be at least twice as big and ridiculous as last year. Expect some surprises, some obvious choices and a few names who haven’t appeared on this blog just yet.

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