Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa / Cherrytree
By Cory Albertson
Three months after releasing Body Talk Pt. 1, which contained a piece of pop perfection in the single “Dancing on My Own,” Robyn returns with Body Talk Pt. 2, continuing the series’ excellent electropop experimentations. With fellow Swede Klas Åhlund (Sugababes, Kylie Minogue) acting as executive producer, Pt. 2 packs quite a varied punch despite its mere eight songs. “In My Eyes” kicks off the set with light, bouncy vocals amid a mix of sonic flurries and dramatic ’80s drum beats. Then, on “Criminal Intent,” the trademark vocal sweetness is traded for militant raps and bubble effects that sound like police sirens. Perhaps most surprising, Snoop Dogg makes an appearance on “U Should Know Better,” intertwining his cocky raps with Robyn’s — the paring sounds amazingly appropriate as they take turns challenging various social institutions and cultures ranging from the Vatican to the Russians.
Artists like Robyn who love to dance outside the bland pop-box found on mainstream radio run the risk of becoming trapped in their own production, with any emotional connection to the music becoming lost in ambitious sounds and overbearing beats. But Robyn manages to escape such a fate by pairing her avant-garde, manipulated sounds (including her vocals) with tamer fare like Pt. 2’s infectious lead single “Hang with Me.” Amid sparse pulsing synths, her hesitancy and fear shines through as she pleads, “Just don’t fall recklessly, headlessly in love with me.” If she continues to produce such accessible and daring pop as Body Talk Pt. 2, though, it’ll be hard for listeners not to.
Robyn plays Buckhead Theatre on November 8. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 10 at 10 a.m.