17 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In between Robyn’s beginnings as a blue-eyed R&B siren and her later exploits as a synth-pop dance diva, Sweden’s sweetheart turned her attention to a more attitude-laden sound on her self-titled fourth album. Robyn raps her way through several tracks here, bringing a decidedly tougher persona to the fore. With some help from the more pop-centric single “With Every Heartbeat,” the record made her a global success and pointed the way to her next evolutionary leap.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In between Robyn’s beginnings as a blue-eyed R&B siren and her later exploits as a synth-pop dance diva, Sweden’s sweetheart turned her attention to a more attitude-laden sound on her self-titled fourth album. Robyn raps her way through several tracks here, bringing a decidedly tougher persona to the fore. With some help from the more pop-centric single “With Every Heartbeat,” the record made her a global success and pointed the way to her next evolutionary leap.

TITLE TIME

About Robyn

As a child, Robyn spent a good chunk of time touring with her parents’ experimental theater group—an experience that ignited one of the more unusual trajectories in modern pop. Discovered performing at a school assembly, Robyn (born Robin Miriam Carlsson in Stockholm in 1979) launched her professional career at 15, cowriting every song on 1995’s Robyn Is Here, including “Show Me Love” and “Do You Know (What It Takes),” both of which crossed over outside Sweden and made her a genuine if somewhat reluctant star. Burned by the conservatism of the industry (especially when it came to the treatment of young women), she left her label in the early 2000s in order to start her own—a move that essentially set her back to square one, but also made her an emblem of independence at a time when pop, as a sound, was beginning to split from the conventions of the business. Working slowly, deliberately, and with a small circle of collaborators (including Klas Åhlund of Teddybears and Joseph Mount of Metronomy), she helped redefine pop as something that could be cool and almost boutique, releasing a string of singles and EPs (including 2010’s Body Talk series) by turns vulnerable and empowering, triumphant and deeply bittersweet—bangers you could weep to. After taking a nearly eight-year-long break from releasing solo music (a gamble almost unheard-of for a pop artist in their prime), Robyn returned in 2018 with Honey, recasting loss—romantic and personal—as the fire in which strong hearts are forged. “I wish everyone could have a fan club that would just cheer them on and root for them,” she told Beats 1’s Tom Thorogood. “What if you have people on your Instagram, texting you, ‘Yeah, I’m so excited you’re going to work!’” It was a joke, of course, but the sentiment—bringing the rush of pop to a human scale—is one she built a career on.

HOMETOWN
Stockholm, Sweden
GENRE
Pop
BORN
June 12, 1979

Songs

Albums

Videos

Listeners Also Played