Robyn’s musical career has actually spanned three decades, spawning five other albums and a Eurovision Song Contest pre-selection in her native Sweden, yet it wasn’t until 2005’s eponymous release Robyn that she began to gain acclaim in the UK. At the start of 2010, Robyn announced that she would be releasing three brand-new albums this year – the stuff of dreams for both her mainstream and underground fans, yet enough to make others take a step back and wonder if she’s up to the challenge.
I bloody love Robyn’s singles (Be Mine = TUNE), but I must admit to never having listened to her breakthrough album more than a couple of times all the way through, so I was interested to see how she’d tackle the whole three-releases thing. And while the first of the trilogy is more about exploring emotions that make you want to laugh and cry, frustration and playing around with genres, Body Talk Pt. 2 is more of a return to her dancefloor maven side, with an altogether mixed bag of results.
In parts, it’s pretty great. Both ‘Hang With Me’ and ‘In My Eyes’ are really fun, full of sparkly chords, synth that sounds like it’s ready to start flying and some brilliantly distorted vocals, that signify her move back towards the danceable rather than the wilfully experimental. The acoustic version of ‘Indestructible’ at the end of the record is a masterstroke too – after all the beats and bleeps, it shows off Robyn’s more vulnerable side, and proves that she’s got talent in spades.
Disappointingly, Body Talk Pt. 2 isn’t without its flaws. A lot of tracks sound like they’re there to use up time; case in point being ‘We Dance To The Beat’, which is repetitive to the point of being more effective than counting sheep to send you off to sleep. Or the kind of thing you’d only like if you were off your tits on drugs in a club.
‘Include Me Out’ and ‘U Should Know Better’ try too hard to emulate Robyn’s knack for a catchy interlude as well, with the latter featuring a cameo from Snoop Dogg. It just comes across as an effort to salvage something, rather than something worth taking notice of.
Sadly, I found myself feeling a little bit disappointed with the second volume of Body Talk. The idea of bringing out three albums in a year is a brave concept, but I feel she might have been better off doing just one instead and taking the best songs off the three. Saying that, the third instalment isn’t out yet, so it’s hard to judge. When it’s good, it’s very very good- it’s just a shame that it’s mostly filler rather than killer.