Swedish Pop Icon Robyn Shows How Pop Will Survive

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Body Talk Pt. 1 (Konichiwa Records)

In the five years since the original release of her self-titled fourth album, the music of Swedish icon Robyn has become Exhibit A in the discussion of how bubblegum pop will survive the decline of the music industry. As Internet tastemaking and social network word-of-mouth have taken hold, it’s become a lot easier to find music that hits the pleasure centers while moving away from the safety of demographic-minded major labels, and Robyn’s new Body Talk Pt. 1 proves that point.

Body Talk is characteristically heavy on swagger, from the laundry-list emancipation of opener “Don’t F--king Tell Me What to Do” to the plaintive let’s-get-this-straight of “Hang With Me.” Robyn’s also a ruthless confectioner, and Body Talk continues what Robyn began by spiking forward-thinking dance pop with casually irresistible hooks. Notable European producers Kleerup (“Dancing on My Own”) and Royksopp (who pile sass on dubstep atmospherics on “None of Dem”) make return appearances, and Philly knob-twiddler Diplo shows what passes for restraint on “Dancehall Queen.” But Robyn continues to do her most inspired work with songwriting partner Klas Ahlund; the canny electro of “Fembot” builds to a dizzying height, performed and arranged with the well-placed confidence that it’s the catchiest song of the summer. The pisser? As indicated by the subtitle, this is the first in a series of three “mini-albums” (maybe there is no Swedish word for “EP”?) so you’re just going to have to put these eight songs on repeat until Pt. 2 shows up later this year.

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