ROBYN – Body Talk
Buy what is to come and you’ll get that law right between the eyes. The latter repeats the revelation ‘my drinking is killing me’ at its beginning ad nauseum, although it never gets to the number of times I’ve said it to myself over the years. And that is just it, there’s a relational element that is central to Robyn lyrically. The pulsating remake of ‘Indestructible’, an acoustic ballad on Part 2, is defiant with its refusal to let past hurt smash the future while ‘Time Machine’ stomps all over you as Robyn wishes she could go back and erase past errors. Another reworked ballad, ‘Hang With Me’ warns a prospective lover of the possible folly of falling in love with her, telling them to just chill and enjoy the here and now in mutual respect.
Smack bang in the middle of this emotionally laid bare journey is the immensely powerful ‘Call Your Girlfriend’, almost the flipside of Dancing On My Own’. Robyn implores her new lover to be honest and let down their partner down gently. ‘None Of Dem’ is a standout track that ushers in the album’s last third and breaks things up nicely with its slow beat throb while ‘Dancehall Queen’ captures the dancehall feel nicely within a pop paradigm. She’s off dancing on her own again. ‘Get Myself Together’ speaks about the importance of seeing the big picture in temporary heartbreak while closer ‘Stars 4-Ever’ is a catchy kickass self-confident ode to the power of relationships and memories.
Robyn is an artist quite clearly at the top of her game and Body Talk reminds us that honesty and accessibility in dance music can be combined. The raw nature of the lyrics and raw power of the music are proof of this. But this is exactly what will combine to prevent her from reaching any sort of superstar status. In the music ‘business’, tracks that contain even an ounce of honesty rarely break though big. It’s a porous, air headed world out there in commercial land and Robyn’s much admired independence in indie circles and refusal to play that music game means that this spectacularly exhilirating set of songs is still unlikely to be heard by as many people as it deserves.
James Stocker – December 11, 2010.
Dancing On My Own
From the album, ‘Body Talk’, Konichiwa