Sunday, September 12, 2010

Even The Vatican Knows Better Than To Fuck With Robyn

Even the French know better than to fuck with Robyn.

Part two of Robyn's 'Body Talk' sonic triptych reveals the genius behind the body of work's three-part structure. Part 1, released earlier this year, showcased Robyn's diverse talents, but felt incongruous and stunted by its short conclusion. The album gave us the straightforward dance-pop track "Dancing On My Own," aggressive electro-hip-hop "None of Dem," and two acoustic tracks, one a traditional Swedish ballad, and the other, "Hang with Me," quiet standouts from the rest. The first album didn't have a weak song, but taken together, it felt like a bit of a mishmash. But the second mini-album brings it all together; "Hang with Me," for example, gets a spectacular dance-pop treatment. Without the time and space that separates 'Body Talk Pt. 1's' acoustic version from this one, either might seem like a weaker version; but given the distance the staggered release gives us, each version can be appreciated on its own merits. And to Robyn's credit, both versions are great successes, taken on their own or together.

Part two also gives us a bit more of the Robyn that impressed us with her recent self-titled release, with the bitingly hilarious "Criminal Intent" and the self-aggrandizing "U Should Know Better," a duet with Snoop Dogg. In turns, Robyn informs us on "U Should Know Better" that everyone, including the French, the Russians, the FBI, the CIA, and (most bravely?) the Vatican "should know better than to fuck with me." Robyn's strengths are her delivery--such hip-hop bravado from a blonde Scandinavian pop tart never ceases to surprise--and her writing. She disguises unexpected moments of hard-hitting emotion with a unique wit, achieving something more than run-of-the-mill entertainment value. The final track on 'Body Talk Pt. 2,' "Indestructible," is a fragile and heartfelt piece, but the (Acoustic Version) tag keeps us looking forward to part three. We expect a stomping dancefloor-friendly version to follow, but with Robyn, it's hard to predict. Which is exactly how she keeps us wanting more.

Check out "Hang With me" and "Criminal Intent":

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