Robyn ‘Body Talk’ – Review

5 Dec

As you probably know Robyn has already released two albums in 2010, ‘Body Talk pt1’ and ‘Body Talk pt2’. We were led to believe that this would be the third part of the trilogy, a CD of 8 brand new songs – but it isn’t. Instead ‘Body Talk’ takes the best songs from those other albums and sprinkles in a handful of new ones. Before I move onto the music I just want to vent some anger about this, because I find it pretty astonishing that more hasn’t been said about this rip off. Part one and two were short, badly sequenced, far from perfect and yet they were released at full price. People brought those albums under false pretences, if they had known that a kind of ‘best of’ would have been released at the end of the year I doubt they would have brought pt1 and 2 at all.

Anyway I’ll now try to ignore that  and pretend that this is a stand alone record with absolutely no baggage or history. Considered like that ‘Body Talk’ is one of the best pure pop albums of the year, containing at least four of the best singles released in 2010 and some fantastic new songs. Of the old stuff  ‘Dancing On My Own’ is the obvious stand out, and as I discussed in the review of ‘part one’ it manages to be tragic and euphoric at the same time, making for a song that sounds great at home or on the dance floor. ‘Hang With Me’ and ‘indestructible’ (formally slow ballads) have been transformed into two more killer dance-pop tracks that pull off a similar trick of being bitter sweet and utterly irresistable.

‘Call Your Girlfriend’ is one of the better new songs, it has an incredible sample solo towards the end (I don’t know how to adequately describe it!) and it could easily be another smash single. ‘Time Machine’ and ‘Call Your Girlfriend are two more new songs that make a big impact, on a less impressive scale perhaps, but they are ridiculously catchy. Robyn keeps this relentless dance floor beat over all 45  minutes and she never really slows down to catch her breath. This isn’t a problem for the first 20 odd minutes but by the end you feel almost exhausted and the pacing feels all the more strange as a couple of killer acoustic numbers were included on parts one and two, yet they failed to make the cut here. In fact the overall choice of highlights from the previous two ‘Body Talk’ albums is a little suspect, for example I really can’t understand why ‘Dancehall Queen was chosen over the phenomenal ‘Cry When I Get Older’, and I didn’t like ‘Non of Dem’ first time around so I’m a bit disappointed that’s been chosen as well.

‘Body Talk’ feels familiar and new at the same time – probably because a lot of people will have heard 2/3rds of the songs before (I know more grumbling!) – but the new tracks and the high tempo sequencing make ‘Body Talk’ the only must buy in the trilogy. It’s been quite a year for Robyn and the timing of this album will make sure she will be on a lot of people’s minds when they select their albums of the year this month.

8/10

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