ABBA and Ace of Base may have better name recognition, but if we’re talking “Hottest Artist Outta Sweden”, then I’m casting my vote for the R-uh to the O-B-Y-hi-N, Ms. Robyn, y’all! Not only do we get a new video from Lady RoRo, but now comes the news that she’s all set to tour the US with Kelis according to a clever tweet exchange between the two!
As I’ve said before, I loved her last album, cryptically titled Robyn, its subsequent re-release and the various collaborations that resulted from its success since its original debut back in 2005. She is most certainly a pop star, but she’s got this quirky, go-against-the-grain thing goin’ for her that seems to cement her outsider status despite the radio-friendly hooks over radio-freaky beats. The new album Body Talk, Pt. 1 doesn’t really indicate that there’s been any significant artistic growth since the last album five years ago, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that parts 2 and 3, due later this year, will reaffirm my belief that Tha R. is the dopest female not on US pop radio.
“Dancing On My Own” lyrically reminds me of “Be Mine” and the video is a simple performance piece intercut with some Jamie Foxx/“Blame It”-esque club scenes. Robbie-Rob pines after some uninterested boy (girl?) while singing near an artistically stacked set of your momma’s lawn chairs and in front of an intricate smoke spewing tangled structure of lights, cables and steel that will reportedly be joining her on tour. I was initially bored with the concept, but a funny thing happened as the video went on… I started to appreciate the simplicity of it all and realized that it suits the song perfectly. Homegirl has a lock on somber tales of heartbreak over chugging electropop tracks and Robyn being both alone and lonely in this video had me feeling sorry for the unlucky in love popstress by the end.
So yeah, her latest isn’t as visually adventurous as “Konichiwa B*tches” or “The Girl and The Robot”, but sometimes its nice to put the high concepts and crazy costumes on ice and simply rely on you to shine in your own videos. And though her (seemingly ageless) face says otherwise, its already been over a decade since we were introduced to the former teen pop Nordic divette and I can’t wait to see what her next musical move is while some of her half-dressed American contemporaries continue to only pretend that they have something interesting to say. Grade: B
And if you’re just getting into Robz, then be sure to catch the original—- and best—- version (two others are floating around the internet as well) of the video for fan favorite “Be Mine”.
And lastly, preview/purchase remixes for “Dancing On My Own” below.
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