1. Dancing On My Own
1. Push It Fembot A Rokk Pie N Mash Up
In 2007 Robyn's anthemic dance ballad With Every Heartbeat reached number 1 in the UK, this came shortly before the 2008 album Robyn was nominated for a Grammy that went on to reach platinum status.
Three years later, and the diminutive Swede is set to release a triple album in three instalments. Body Talk Pt 1 (released June 14th) picks up where Robyn left off, with the emphasis on those sweeping, emotional dance tracks and the biting, quirky rap-pop with which she made her name.
Now A list on Radio 1, Dancing On My Own is the lead single of this first instalment of the Body Talk trilogy - and the clear successor to With Every Heartbeat.
Against an industrial techno beat, Robyn depicts a scene familiar to many: the man she loves is dancing with another woman, oblivious to her presence as she looks on. It is, as Robyn puts it, a song inspired by her love of inherently sad, gay disco anthems such as Ultravox's Dancing With Tears in My Eyes, Sylvester and Donna Summer.
Exceptional remixes come from a whole host of artists; Jakwob, Rex The Dog, Azzido Da Bass and Fred Falke, have all re-worked the soon-to-be dance floor classic for summer 2010.
Can you resist a girl who calls you a bum before offering to knit you mittens and make you pie? Who sings like a Pound Puppy while agreeing to push your bail bonds when cash was tight? Who compresses the entirety of this year's Fannypack record into one 2:35 track? Who exudes so much offhand sass she might strip the chrome off your bumper if she parked her "gifted, all-natural, and bursting the seams" keester on it?
Robyn Carlsson gets confused with Robin S of "Show Me Love" fame. (Not helped by the fact that she also had a U.S. top 10 called "Show Me Love.") But she's best known for "Do You Know (What It Takes)", which also went top 10 over here in that late-90s moment when anything with a fake r&b; beat and a sunshine attitude charted as a welcome relief from, like, the Toadies and stuff. She's disappeared from our radar for the past eight years-- as Euro pop stars tend to do-- but Robyn is as stupidly ebullient as any record released this year. "You wanna rumble in my jungle?/ I'll take you on/ You wanna rumble in space/ I'll put my laser on stun/ And on the North Pole/ I'll ice you, son." Uh-oh!
Over canned synbeats and zaps, she struts her stuff, castigating silly boys who think they're playing in her weight class and generally acting like the shit. "Who's That Girl" sez "no, no, no" like Destiny's Child to institutionalized sexism-- or something. "Handle Me" tells bar star douchebags with flipped polo shirt collars that she's too much. Okay, so "Robot Boy" is pretty much insufferable, a swerve too sickly for Radio Disney and kinda creepy when you factor in the songs about coming on tongues. (Those nails she's sporting on the cover don't look designed for wiping tears and mending broken hearts.) But "Be Mine", which I blathered on about in the tracks section a few weeks ago, is a disarming heartbreaker perfectly poised between twee and tuff, like if Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley and the Neptunes got trapped in Jeff Goldblum's Fly pods.
"Crash and Burn Girl" is kiddie disco (I like to imagine the party wreck she's addressing is Lindsay Lohan, but yr mileage may vary) with added early Madonna quotes. "Konichiwa Bitches" suffers from a bad Dave Chappelle joke title (not that it'll matter in 10 years), but redeemed by the fact that it's 2:35 of boasting so compressed you'll rewind it three or four times in a row. "Bum Like You" isn't a ballad, really, but it is slow and acoustic guitar driven. It's also nice to know that someone out there was willing to rewrite "No Scrubs" with a modicum of humanity granted to the scrubs in question.
Robyn is already being called "this year's Annie," which is horseshit because she actually emotes. And unlike the aforementioned Fannypack, she's got a range beyond "ripping off L'Trimm." Her pop fun is a bit knowing-- she's 26 after all. But trust the Swedes. They know what they're doing with this sort of thing. Plus it's all over in 35 minutes. If you think people should be fined for albums over 60 minutes-- is that ballad really worth it?-- you'll appreciate this.
Jess Harvell, October 2, 2005