Thursday, May 1, 2008

Robyn

If you're my age, you'll remember Robyn from the 90s hits "Show Me Love" and "Do You Know (What It Takes)", but she's done far more than that. Being the Puritan North Americans we are, we miss out on a lot of European music (and art in general), and we should be disappointed. Three years ago she released an album that straddles some amazing and vast territory. Part straight-up pop, part singer-songwriter on a laptop, and part Eurotrash-technodance, her self-titled fourth album is tough to pinpoint. It was finally released this week in North America.

Having heard several of the songs stripped down to a piano and her clear, girlish vocals, it's hard to believe these songs are thumping, techno (but street-wise) dance songs in their original form. (This is the album I wish Madonna had released this week, instead of her ultra-disappointing, sub-standard Hard Candy.) Some of the material is cheeky and crude ("Konichiwa Bitches", "Cobrastyle") while others are melancholy ballads laced with drum machines and synthesizers ("With Every Heartbeat", "Be Mine!") - Something for everyone. But the album is cohesive and, with each shift in mood, there's a distinct point of view, a trait American musicians (who buy their songs from several oh-so-current beatmakers) don't seem to have anymore. Instead of a pack of songs working as an album, a whole experience, we've become used to singles, stand-alone tracks that never fit into a group, often leading to a terrible disc full of filler-songs and "featuring" tracks. iPods play one song from 1000 different artists; the age of the pop album seems to be, for the most part, dead.

I've had several tracks from the album for a while (released on iTunes as a few EPs), but now that I have the whole thing, it makes so much sense. Needless to say, it's been on repeat all week. It satisfies me on a variety of levels.

Take a listen to Robyn's recent AOL Music Sessions where you can hear an updated version of "Show Me Love" (alone worth the click) as well as tracks from her new (to us) album. And then hit up iTunes to buy it. Who knew the poppy Swedish girl I knew in high school would eclipse Madonna. Who knew.


1 comment:

  1. U hit it right on the nose dude, we miss out on SUCH good music. Thank goodness for fairy-music-godmothers like you and I to spread the word.
    Well done. I ♥ your blog.

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