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One of the most uniquely amazing albums I've ever heard; EVER...
on November 6, 2009
One of the greatest albums, not just of the past year or decade but of forever, Robyn's self-titled album is just delicious. When I was a pre-teen I remember loving Robyn's debut album `Robyn is Here', and then she disappeared. Now I consider her debut album a solid yet uninspiring pop album, so when I heard that she finally dropped another album here in the states (she has been releasing music overseas for years) I wasn't sure what to expect. Let's just say that absence has really made my heart grow fonder and fonder; that and the fact that she has reinvented herself in the most masterful of ways.
`Robyn' is a brilliant collection of hot tempered, spit-fire magic that escalates with infectious goodness from open to close.
I'm just going to get the `poor' out of the way right now and say that I don't like `With Every Heartbeat' and `Should Have Known'. I just find them forgettable and `less than' when compared to the rest of the album. Now that I've said that, I will continue the rest of this review with heap upon heap of endless praise.
I want to start by saying that the album's opening `Curriculum Vitae' is perfect.
As far as pop goes, the closest you get here to her 90's glory days is the infectious and beautifully dated `Be Mine!'. It has a memorable spunkiness to it, and it is catchy as all get out. `Dream On' also has a 90's vibe to me. It also stands out to me as one of those songs that doesn't really sound like anything else she's done. It has a chant worthy anthem quality to it.
One thing that Robyn doesn't lack anywhere on this album is style.
The opening track `Konichiwa (I won't even attempt to type the second word)' just oozes with that very thing; style. It is a brilliant opening track because it defines this artist. She is all over the place with clever wit, bone crushing techno pop beats and silky vocals. She has a really underrated voice to be honest. It has a nice texture to it that she deserves to called out for. Her use of sensual lyrics (almost crude at times) gives her an edge, but she never comes off as vulgar. She has chic sophistication to her content. `Cobrastyle' explodes with everything I just mentioned ("remember when you dig a hole it's two you gon' dig"). It may even be the best track on the album, and if not it is certainly up there.
I love the club worthy fabulousness of this entire album.
For me there are two songs that stand out as Robyn's newfound definition of pop music. `Handle Me' and `Who's That Girl' are definitely the most accessible, radio ready tracks. `Handle Me' has a great catchy quality to it that really simmers with repeat worthiness. Robyn's voice is also a standout here. The remix version at the end of the album is even better here, completely fusing her techno adoration with her commercial offering. `Who's That Girl' reminds me of a jazzed up version of something off of `Robyn is Here'. I gobble it up, seriously. There is a sweetness to her vocals that I just really adore here.
`Crash and Burn Girl' is just SO MUCH FUN. I love the background vocal beats and the way she just flows right through the track without skipping a beat or losing her breath. It's a marvelous example of what she stands for as an artist. `Bum Like You' has a dark edge that just croons with sensuality. I love the way she completely gives herself away to the song, and the subject matter. It's a cheeky song when you listen to it; like the anti-scrubs.
`Robotboy' took a while to grow on me. It is different, but I totally commend her for that. It is also a nice segue to her softer tracks. It has a catchiness to it, but it also has a very youthful vibe that reminds me of something almost too young, like children's music.
`Eclipse' is gorgeous. You may not expect it (I didn't) but it really takes you somewhere. There is an otherworldliness to it (I love that she kept a techno, space vibe to this even though it is such a soft and tender track). Her voice is magnificent here, so vulnerable and sharp. `Anytime You Like' has an Asian inspired musical arrangement, and there is a slinky vibe that just elevates the track. It's stellar, really.
The album is just the definition of the word COMPLETE. There is so much here, yet it all feels necessary and comfortable for Robyn. There are numerous standouts (Cobrastyle, Bum Like You, Crash and Burn Girl, Eclipse) but to be honest, the whole album is a standout. If you want something that just works on all sorts of levels, reeks of originality and just blows the competition away then this is the album you NEED TO OWN!