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Robyn

Robyn

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Album Review

"I present to you/Unleashed in the East/Best dressed in the West/Sorted in the North/Without a doubt in the South/the queen of queen bees," intones the booming voice on Robyn's opening track, "Curriculum Vitae." It's not bragging if you can back it up, and Robyn does just that, channeling all the frustration of her creative differences with her previous labels into a freewheeling, accomplished pop album that is so fresh that it could pass for a debut — and, as the first release for her own label, Konichiwa Records, it is a debut of sorts. Robyn feels like she crammed everything she couldn't do before into a space that can barely contain it, starting with "Konichiwa Bitches," a sassy hip-pop manifesto with a title that could very well have been the first thing she said to her old bosses once she got her own label set up. On this song and the rest of the album, Robyn sounds equally empowered and irresistible, and doesn't hesitate to tell off labels, trifling boys, or anyone else who stands in the way of what she wants. She doesn't mince words on "Handle Me," but she purrs "you're a selfish, narcissistic, psycho-freakin', boot-lickin' creep" so sweetly that it stings even more. And even on the songs where she isn't so strong, like "Bum Like You" and "I Should Have Known"'s catchy recriminations, she's never the less than self-aware. She has a few words for the ladies as well: the cautionary tale "Crash and Burn Girl" is one of the album's funkiest tracks.

"Who's That Girl," the song that her old label didn't want to release, and sparked her emancipation from them, is also here, and its distinctive skipping, tropics-go-Nordic rhythms and aggressively buzzy synths — courtesy of the Knife — sound great, but it isn't even the best song here. That honor goes to one of two songs that really hit home that true independence can be the hardest thing. "Be Mine!" nails the complicated, sad yet liberated feelings surrounding an impossible relationship, celebrating "the sweet pain of watching your back as you walk away" as it propels itself on a buoyant rhythm. "With Every Heartbeat," the epic, Kleerup-produced breakup song that was Robyn's breakthrough single in the U.K., pushes her forward on percolating, escalating synths and strings until it peaks with the chorus echoing all around her. Not every independent moment on Robyn is so lonely, however. The way the album moves from whimsical tracks like the Teddybears cover "Cobrastyle" or "Robotboy" to subtle ballads like "Eclipse" and "Any Time You Like" just emphasizes that this album is a space for expression for and by Robyn. And like any self-titled album should, Robyn defines what she's all about. Even if it took a few years to put together the label and album (and a few more to get the album released everywhere), this is the pop tour de force that Robyn has always had in her. [The CD was also released with a bonus track.]

Customer Reviews

If you buy any Pop this year - make this it!

When I heard 'With Every Heart Beat' I was racking my brain over where I'd heard of Robyn before? I knew I loved 'that one song' in the nineties, I just couldn’t remember how it went or what it was called (it had been that long!). It wasn’t until I Googled her that I realised the artist who I thought was a one hit wonder with 'Show Me Love' had in fact released three albums prior to 'Robyn' however none of these ever made it onto our airwaves. This explained the phenomenal evolution in her music and she is doing what the Euros do best; make great dance and pop music. The sound can be likened to Fergie, Gwen Stefani, and M.I.A. and I think this is Pop music the 25+ age group can admit to listening to without any embarrassment.

Essential.

The best pop album of 2005 is still the best pop album of 2007. The original Swedish release is updated for international markets with the addition of the gorgeous With Every Heartbeat and the spiky Cobrastyle plus new versions of Bum Like Me and Robotboy. Fun, inventive and utterly addictive, "Robyn" is pop for grown ups and will be on high rotation for sure in the coming months. No longer destined to be a one hit wonder with Show Me Love, Robyn is back and here to stay...

Horrible.

She has ruined the Cobrastyle song, she should have left it how it was before. Her voice is horrible, sounds cheap as chips.

Biography

Born: 12 June 1979 in Stockholm, Sweden

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

An international pop star — despite label problems that halted her career's momentum several times — Sweden's Robyn blends the gritty sound of American R&B with the sunny pop of her homeland. Robyn's first global hit was 1997's Do You Know (What It Takes), which hit the Top Ten around the world, including the U.S. Born Robyn Carlsson in Stockholm in 1979, she traveled around the Continent with her parents' traveling theater group, also listening to classic American soul on...
Full Bio