Republished from The Maneater
It’s a well-known fact that Swedish exports are generally awesome: Swedish Fish. Volvos. Vikings.
The people of Bjorn Borg-istan did more than just produce this pop princess. They fully embraced her — each of her past four releases have reached at least second in the Swedish Albums Chart. And with Body Talk Pt 2, Robyn looks to extend that dominance and continue her inevitable progression toward global pop notoriety.
When Robyn released the first installment of her three-part Body Talk series in June, she delivered a set of top-notch pop standards on par with her heralded eponymous album. And with another soul-bearing anthem, “Hang With Me,” as the lone single for Pt 2, it seemed as if another order of pop was on its way.
Surprisingly, “Hang With Me” is the odd jam out on Pt 2. The record drifts toward a more club-friendly sound full of distorted vocals and techno-esque buildups. This allows Robyn to show off some of her musical smarts, but leaves a little to be desired for those expecting another batch of songs like “With Every Heartbeat” and “Dancing On My Own.”
That said, it is important to keep in mind that this is the middle segment of a three-album compilation — it makes sense she might stray away from typical hooks and delve into substantial dance elements that she couldn’t normally explore on a standard-length release. And her slight variation does produce a couple of potential club smashes, most notably “U Should Know Better” (featuring Snoop Dogg) and “Criminal Intent.”
It’s kind of strange seeing this electronica side of Robyn. It’s not necessarily bad — it’s just not expected. It’s like asking for a bicycle for Christmas and getting roller blades. They’ll both get you from here to there, but you really wanted that bike.
Likewise, each track failing to match “Hang With Me” feels like somewhat of a disappointment. Regardless, spot-on production and anticipation for Pt 3 make it hard to stay mad at Robyn for long.