The feeling you get when you hear about Robyn – the instantaneous feeling of obliteration in the flood of synth and strings – is almost too powerful. I've always seen the music of the 39-year-old Swedish pop star as a kind of club drug: a substance that increases the likelihood of dancing and crying at the same time. The spell it casts may turn out to be a habit. They submit to their own risk. When "Honey," the title song of Robyn's long awaited new album, was released in late September, I took long walks in Brooklyn at midnight, just so I could hear it over and over again. On the weekdays, I had come home exhausted and put "Honey" in the shower, and then my body was flooded with confetti, heat and electricity, and I stayed up until three in the morning.
I've been responding to Robyn since 2005 when her self-titled album leaked out in America. (The album was released in Sweden this year, but did not receive a proper release in the United States until 2008.) Robyn has been famous since her hit "Show Me Love" in 1
In 2010, Robyn released a trilogy of mini-albums called "Body Talk," which expanded her funny, selfless, and radically strange personality. The sound was bionic, kinetic – a war chest with chemical weapons manipulation. The two biggest singles "Dancing on My Own" and "Call Your Girlfriend" sound like pure, thudding ecstasy, even if the lyrics are painful and slightly psychotic. The first one shows Robyn "in the corner how I kiss her"; In the second, she gives loving instructions to the person whose current relationship she wants to destroy. These traces, and the accuracy of her presence in them, crowned Robyn as a high priestess of unrestrained emotion, an icon whose influence would only increase in eight years of relative restraint. (Between "Body Talk" and "Honey" she released a great EP with Röyksopp and a less flashy one with La Bagatelle Magique.) In 2012, the TV show "Girls" ended an episode of Robyn-induced catharsis. On "Saturday Night Live", whose actors had previously praised the viral "Call Your Girlfriend" video, the singer Lorde performed in 2017 with a photo of Robyn placed on the piano.
Robyn is a technician communicating in hits. In "With Every Heartbeat", a single from the Swedish producer Kleerup from 2005, she took an arena-sized melody and built them around new foreign angles, holding them back and delivering the profit with the directness of a d.j. Control of an enthusiastic crowd. The uncomplicated adoration she has received from critics since "Robyn" has helped pave the way to our current era, which saw the widely-popular Vs. artistically credible boundaries between pop and indie have more or less completely dissolved. Robyn has crossed other invisible borders: among the female pop stars she has been able to play sexy music that is completely independent of conventional sexual desire. She has nurtured a persona that is strange and definite enough to become a pop cultural talisman, but she seems so transparent that her fans feel they can see their soul.
In May Robyn surprised at a regular Brooklyn dance party dedicated to her. (It's called This party kills you after a lyric in the song "Don't fuck, tell me what to do" that starts with Robyn's singing, "My alcohol kills me" 15 times in a row. ) It has produced "Honey," a theme that has been very intriguing since the beginning of 2017, when it was played in unfinished form in the final season of the last season of "Girls." The "Girls" mix of "Honey" is rougher and More percussive than the album version Robyn worked on and redesigned until her co-producer Joseph Mount, the frontman of the Metronomy band, began comparing her to the Beatles, who tried to end "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." Vocal melody, however, is audibly addictive in only a section in the earlier version, with a final couplet that summarizes Robyn's reverse ethos of yearning and achievement: "You will not get what you need, but baby, I have what you want. "Immediately started the hashtag #ReleaseHoneyDammi to tweet.
"Honey" appears shortly after half on the new album. The nine tracks on the album appear in the order in which they were written and follow a personal development that begins in mourning. Robyn began an intensive psychoanalysis after the hyperproductive era of "Body Talk" – six sessions a week, she told the Times . During this time, she separated from Max Vitali, her longtime partner, who had made the video "Call Your Girlfriend". Christian Falk, her close associate and mentor, died of pancreatic cancer. "Missing U", the opener of the new album, is sadder than all previous songs by Robyn about Heartbreak. In those earlier tracks, it always seemed like she lived in a room full of loving fame, in part because of what she could do for her audience. On "Missing U" she sings more than ever as she does. "That part of you," she wails. "This clock has stopped. This backlog is all I have. "The driving luster of the song is rooted in personal desperation. "I have turned all my grief into glass," she sings.
There are only three big Wallops of the Robyn feeling on this album: "Missing U", "Honey" and the final track "Ever Again." Between these emphases – and a couple of characteristically funny flashes, especially in the song " Beach 2K20 "- are new textures, a new softness." Human Being "the beat is crisp, almost like a science fiction movie, but when the chords dive into the song, they feel big and sad and modest, like Ramps lowered by an unfamiliar ship – on "Baby Forgive Me", seemingly in the middle of it, Robyn sounds lost and thoughtful, letting fleeting waves of emotion fall – halfway the fog breaks and her vocal melody brightens. When I heard it, I suddenly realized that the Robyn feeling is changing, the sweetness on this album is still hard won and transporting, but it's in the midst of tangible uncertainty, even hopelessness It is no longer delivered in a purely heroic adrenaline flash. Instead, "Honey" is loose and free and physical. It captures and concretizes the wordless, ephemeral moments of bliss and sorrow that arise when you are in a group of strangers and uncertain about the future. It represents a new phase in Robyn's ongoing project, in which the power of her conviction continues to hold together, which seems musically or otherwise often impossible: maximum sadness, which is felt to be the foundation of absolute joy.