Well, here we are again, talking about Swedish pop star Robyn. That must mean only one thing, “Body Talk Pt. 2” has released! I feel it’s safe to say now that we’re three Robyn albums reviewed in here at The Buffet (here and here) that I can officially declare I have a total fangirl crush on Robyn. There, I said it. I’m not ashamed.
So what does “Body Talk Pt. 2” bring to the table that has got me so darned excited? A whole heck of a lot! Let’s dive right in because despite being only 8 songs, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover!
The album opens with “In My Eyes”. This is pure, straight ahead, pop. It’s not revolutionary by any means, but it’s upbeat, you tap your foot to it, there’s some classic synthesizer and drum machine work going on. Next up is “Include Me Out” which again is danceable pop. “In My Eyes” flows nicely into this track. With only 8 songs I value album flow greatly. I enjoy the occasional schizophrenic album that goes in a zillion different directions, but for the “Body Talk” discs and their limited number of songs, I appreciate a solid fluid selection of songs.
Okay, now that we’ve warmed up with the opening two tracks, here is where the ass kicking truly begins in earnest. Remember how I commented in my review of “Body Talk Pt. 1” that “Robyn slows it down for the last two tracks, ‘Hang With Me’ and ‘Jag Vet En Dejlig Rosa’. Both songs are lovely. Robyn has such a delicate, light, airy voice that is well suited for the material, but I have to admit after Robyn kicking your ass for 6 songs, it is a little hard to switch gears.” Well for “Body Talk Pt. 2” Robyn presents us with the revamped, techno laced, version of “Hang With Me”. What started out as a catchy ballad tinged with melancholy has become, in my eyes, a happy upbeat song about two friends trying not to be in love with each other.
After “Hang With Me” we’ve got “Love Kills”. “If you’re looking for love, get a heart made of steel ‘cus you know that love kills. Don’t go messing with love, it’ll hurt you for real, don’t you know that love kills?” I adore it when pop music viciously attacks love, don’t you?
Here we are at “We Dance to the Beat”. This is a very techno/trance kind of song. The best way to describe it is, it’s as if The Android Sister, who performed satirical speak songs in the audio series “Ruby the Galactic Gumshoe”, got polished and repackaged for the dance clubs. This is The Android Sisters, and this is “We Dance to the Beat”, you be the judge.
Get ready for some real booty shaking because we’re at “Criminal Intent”. Can a night out on the dance floor represent criminal intent? It can when Robyn invites producer Diplo to join her on a track. This song packs some serious bass and is hands down the club song for this album. If anyone happens to have the ear of the folks who license music for the USA Network show “Burn Notice”, pass this song along to them please. This song is tailor made for the show, especially if they cut to black with just the end of the distorted voice saying “criminal intent” lingering for a moment before the commercials kick in. I expect to hear this song in the new season USA!
Again, referencing my review of “Body Talk Pt. 1”, you may remember me expressing disappointment in the lack of a new “Curriculum Vitae” on that album. The smack talking intro that touted the vast accomplishments of Robyn, including, but not limited to, being “listed in section 202 of the United Nations Security Act of 1979 as being too hot to wear tight sweaters in international airspace.” She makes up for that with “U Should Know Better” featuring Snoop Dogg. As I said before, “Robyn creates Swedish pop music that contains a hip hop swagger,” and she holds her own effortlessly with Snoop Dogg. The hip hop swagger runs rampant on this track as she explains that the French, the Vatican, the Russians, the CIA, the Prince of Darkness, and in fact, the whole industry should know better than to f@#k with her. Noted, will not f@#k with Robyn. Check!
This brings us to the final track of the album “Indestructible”. This is labeled as the acoustic version, which leaves me hopeful that I’ll be hearing an awesome remix of this song on the third “Body Talk” album, as this was how it went with “Hang With Me”. Again, just like “Hang With Me”, the song is beautiful and perfectly suited for her voice. Lyrically the song is wonderful, “I’m going to love you like I’ve never been hurt before. I’m going to love you like I’m indestructible.” It’s fantastic, and it’s solid enough that with it being the end cap to the album, it doesn’t feel like it drags things down. I guess “Jag Vet En Dejlig Rosa” was just one slow song too many on the last album. Here “Indestructible” soars and then lands perfectly to complete the album.
I don’t always agree with the music reviews in Rolling Stone magazine, but they categorized both “Body Talk Pt. 1” and “Body Talk Pt. 2” as albums you should buy now, and I can’t agree more!
In the gap between writing this review and actually publishing the review Digital Spy confirmed my hopes, the next single out will be an alternate version of “Indestructible”.