The Top 50 Albums of Year 2010… #05 ROBYN “Body Talk Pt. I, II, III”
05. ROBYN “Body Talk Parts I, II & III.”
Robyn was the hardest working pop star in 2010. Five years after her fourth long player, the ageless and career-defining “Robyn”, the Swede popstrel made up for the large gap in between records by statically releasing three different volumes of music over the year. While Body Talk certainly suffered from a few faults (all of those mainly residing on the first volume), the quality of music that unravelled over the next two volumes as the year went on was paralysingly brilliant. The genius of releasing bodies of work as she went along through the year serves as a fine example as to why Robyn’s ahead of the game when it comes to creating stunningly danceable melancholic pop music and street-smart electronica. With each volume we were given a glimpse into where she sat creatively at the time; Body Talk was, up until the third and final instalment, a work in progress that layed Robyn’s pop thought processes flat onto the table and, when listened to in succession of one another, showed just how sharply tuned her creative process is.
Part 1 is the weakest of the three collections, but as a starting point it was still better than most albums in 2010. Part 2 strengthened and reassured fans Robyn was still on the right track (at one point the first release certainly made me feel like she’d maybe lost her way), and the combination of the best moments from the first two releases and four of her strongest tracks ever on the third and final instalment smashed it home that Robyn is a properly bionic pop-force not to be fucked with.
From that sweet, crying-at-the-discotheque sound she does so well on tracks like Song of the Year contender “Dancing On My Own” (“I’m right over here – why can’t you see me?/I keep dancing on my own.”), the Giorgio Moroder-licking “Love Kills” (the bit from 1’20 – completely free of vocals – almost says more emotionally about the songs theme than the lyrics do, that’s how beautiful it is), the heart-busting “Hang With Me” (“Can you tell me once again, how we’re gonna be just friends? If you’re for real and I pretend… then I guess you can hang with me.”), “Get Myself Together” – where she sings of sorting her life out “when this hurt is gone, I’ve got to get myself together”; there’s even a song where she steals your boyfriend (“Call Your Girlfriend”, whose middle8 is probably the best moment on the whole collective album) that assures there isn’t a dry eye in the house – all while you’re moving along to her sweet, sweet beats. It’s powerful pop music at its finest and, at times, saddest.
Robyn’s also brilliant at making ice-cold, street-smart electropop that shows off her strong personality; stuff like the bombastic Royksopp collaboration “None Of Dem”, to the genius social commentary of “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do” and “We Dance To The Beat”, Robyn can play effortlessly cool and on the next track, heartbroken beyond repair – and it just works so well together.
Robyn knows what it’s like to be in love, to fall out of love, to be left out of love, but she also knows how to be a fucking bad bitch. “Body Talk” as a whole does all of those facts an incredible amount of justice.