Does Robyn have some sort of monopoly on all of the best synthesizers? The woman has released three superlative EPs this year, and nearly every last track of the Body Talk trilogy positively glimmers to pop glory. Unsurprisingly, the proper full-length version, presumably culled together from the finest moments of Body Talk’s 1, 2, and 3, plays just as well, if not better, than the three EPs. Although the EP’s were impressively low on throwaway material, Robyn has picked the correct 15 tracks to represent the Body Talk project. Rather than playing like a soulless greatest hits collection, Body Talk is a thrilling, emotionally potent, and near-flawless new classic.
Robyn wastes no time about mainlining one undeniable jam after another into the listener’s eager veins. Body Talk opens with a more effervescent version of the much beloved “Dancing On My Own”, one of many Robyn break-up jams that would be intensely sad if the music wasn’t so damn pleasurable. Robyn goes to this well often on Body Talk, but it’s hard to complain when the results are shimmering gems like “Hang With Me” and “Love Kills”. Incidentally, Robyn also plays the other woman equally well, as “Call Your Girlfriend” handily proves.
Otherwise, Robyn is usually happy to play the Teflon badass who you simply cannot, should not, fuck with. And for a physically unintimidating, thirty-one year old Swedish lady, Robyn plays that role more than convincingly. In fact, there’s a whole track devoted to the idea that the French, the Russians, the Vatican, the C.I.A. and the devil himself know better than to fuck with Robyn. Said turbocharged track (“U Should Know Better”) even gets a few nimble verses from Snoop Dogg, and that guy has been phoning it in for years. Such is the power of Robyn’s allure.
“Dancehall Queen” commingles those aforementioned traits of Robyn into one tidy, dub-pop package. The vulnerable side of Robyn dominates the early verses, while the assertive, powerful side comes alive in the choruses. This track gives way to “Get Myself Together”, wherein Robyn decides to quit feeling sorry for herself and heed the titles advice. Soon thereafter, Body Talk comes to a close with the optimistically paired “In My Eyes” and “Stars 4-Ever”.
So not only does Robyn give you a tasteful yet unashamedly universally appealing pop opus, she even tacks on a happy ending. While I would hate to dismiss anyone else’s opinion on a subjective matter so glibly, if you can’t find something to love on Body Talk, you are no son of mine.