Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Best of 2010: #4 Robyn - Body Talk

I purchased both of the early Body Talk discs at Best Buy. They were only $7.99, and were some of the most satisfying music of the year. I waited with baited breath for volume three. When, instead an album length Body Talk featuring five tracks from volumes one and two each and five new tracks showed up at that same Best Buy for the disappointing price of $14.99, my rage was clear to the blue shirts trying desperately to not make eye contact with me. So (and I’m not proud of this) I downloaded what I saw as a cash grab. (The zip file was even crassly labeled “Body Talk Retail.”)

Body Talk “Retail” though, did earn it’s place. Cutting some of the fat and replacing somber “acoustic” versions of some of the Body Talk sets’ best work, made the now proper album all the better. What’s more, the five new tracks were uniformly excellent with “Call Your Girlfriend” specifically joining “Dancing On My Own” and “Hang With Me” in this year’s perfect Robyn single triumvirate. The appeal of Robyn is rooted not just in her cutting edge production and expert songcraft. It is also about how humanly she inhabits the emotions of her best songs. “Fembots are humans too,” she says over high tech beats.

Robyn is particularly engaging as a pop musician because unlike many (by far) more popular “fembots” her musical aesthetic is as personal and refined as her image aesthetic. Body Talk feels like a cohesive statement with a ton of dynamic little parts to it and Robyn appears to have complete ownership of all of it. This is no small feet in the year of Ke$ha.

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