Friday, September 3, 2010

Body Talk pt. 2, Robyn

BEST OF 2010

It is rare for me to find pleasure in an entire album. Especially an electro-pop album. I am still pretty new to the world of pop. Having spent most of my youth lost to folk singers, 70s rock bands, and hipster indie rock. Only in the past couple of years have I found the pleasure of a great pop song. Luckily for me I did it just in time. What an incredible couple of years for electro-pop (Lady Gaga, Kelis, Robyn, etc).

Body Talk pt. 2 is Robyn's middle piece of a proposed trilogy. And, I have never enjoyed the 2nd film in a trilogy. So, I had low expectations for a 2nd in a music trilogy. I was wrong. I was very, very wrong.

The album opens with 'In My Eyes.' This may be the only weak song on the album. And, when I say weak... I mean still pretty damn good. The fault is how catchy it is. This might be too radio friendly. A little formulaic. The voice at the start of the track reminds me a little of the voice found in some of the iamamiwhoami videos. I was startled at first. But, quickly the track opens up into a pop song that sounds as if glitter is raining in the background. The second track, 'Include Me Out,' gets the dance started. This is where the hips shake and I start to sing along. Again, falls in line with 'In My Eyes,' very radio friendly pop.

Body Talk pt. 2 finally takes off with 'Hang With Me.' On Body Talk pt. 1, Robyn did a beautifully stripped down version of the song. And, it worked on that album. But, once Robyn and others added the beat, the song has found new life. The sadness still exists. This is why I adore the song so much. The ability to wrap something so sad inside something so beat driven.

'Love Kills' is everything you want it to be. A hard beat and a bitter tone.

'We Dance to the Beat' starts where 'Don't Fucking Tell Me What To Do' left off. The robotic repetition has returned. But, this time, I have no complaints. Robyn's voice comes across as a machine. And the lines she throws out are some of the most beautiful lines ever to find their way into pop music ("we dance to the beat of the continents shifting under out feet," "we dance to the beat of bad kissers clinking teeth," etc). This is my favorite song on the album.

'Criminal Intent' starts off, musically, like a song from The Knife. Quickly turns into a siren wail that appears throughout the album. And, it works. Not nearly as annoying as one might assume. Before you know it, Robyn has gone from The Knife to Lil Kim. Robyn gets dirty in her plea to the judge ("i can get a little x rated on the floor, but your honor how is this something you get incarcerated for?"). Absolute genius!

On 'U Should Know Better' Robyn works with Snoop Dogg. Typically, I'm over the whole Snoop Dogg guest artist situation. What is he doing anymore? Seemed silly when I first read Snoop Dogg would be appearing on the album. But, I can't imagine a better voice to match with Robyn's voice. And, to hear Robyn and Snoop Dogg sing along to a chorus that borrows from an Amanda Blank/Deadmau mashup is a musical dream come true.

The closing track, 'Indestructible,' is a strings arranged, acoustic song. Beautiful. I don't enjoy pop ballads. And, it would be unfair to suggest this song is a pop ballad. But, to follow the previous songs on the album, 'Indestructible' can only be considered a ballad. This is the song I always wanted Gaga's 'Speechless' to be. Where Gaga disappointed, Robyn has not. And, I can't wait to hear how she handles this song when it appears as a different version on Body Talk pt. 3.


No comments:

Post a Comment