One of my all time favorite things is a musician with nothing to lose. That’s when things get interesting. Are they going to fade into obscurity? Will they sell out, perhaps more than they already had? Or, when no one seems to give a crap about what they do, will they let loose? The first two appeal to my catty nature, but the third is my favorite. The third brought us the Rick Rubin produced Johnny Cash, LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out”, and the topic of this blog, the latest Robyn cd.
For those of you unfamiliar with Robyn, she’s the bleached out Swedish chick who had moderate success in the 90s with the song “Show Me Love”, and then, she was gone. Now I don’t know the details, but her new album is on an independent label, that she started, which says to me, no one would touch her. I hope this album has her laughing all the way to the bank. So, you’re a failed Swedish dance star, how to you open up your new album? Please view the video below, it’s only about a minute long and it is exactly how this album begins.
Oh yeah, Robyn brings it, as the kids say. What does the new album sound like? Imagine the very best of 80s synth pop, with the edge of hip hop, performed by a petite Swedish woman. It’s that messed up awesome and more! On the 80s edge, she takes all the 80s pop clichés and makes them classic. Complete with 80s style music videos, several songs have a very Cyndi Lauperish vibe to them, and yes, even a spoken word break down in the middle of the love song. It’s all there, but done with a sense of intelligence that doesn’t make them corny, just really good.
How does that get a hip hop edge, you ask? Well, first she’s got her patented 80s “white girl rap” called “Konichiwa Bitches”. This out JJ Fads JJ Fad! It buries “Fergilious”. You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? Also, she takes techo pop and laces it with aggressive lyrics, my favorite example is the song “Handle Me”. Imagine a delicate female vocal in a pop song use the phrase “But you’re a selfish narcissistic psycho freaking bootlicking nazi creep.” Now you begin to understand the glory that is Robyn.
Here is one of my favorite songs “Be Mine”. It sounds a little like Cyndi Lauper, has the total 80s style video, and yes, the patented spoken word section. Enjoy!