On The Download: Robyn, ‘Body Talk, Pt. 2’

MTV announced earlier today that Robyn would perform at the 2010 Video Music Awards in a special performance with house DJ, deadmau5 (Jason DeRulo & Travie McCoy will also be performing, “never before heard mixes of their current hit singles” with deadmau5). This is an exciting opportunity for Robyn, because if you’ve seen the Swedish pop star perform live before, you’ll know what sort of treat awaits the audience.

Robyn’s performance will come on the heels of the September 7 release of “Body Talk Pt. 2,” her second of three eight-song releases this year. Those who read “On The Download” regularly know of my predilection for the Swedish pop star. I even had the opportunity to interview her in LA last month during opening night of her “All Hearts” tour with Kelis. The question at hand – could “Pt. 2” eclipse the anthem-filled summer fun of her magnificent “Body Talk, Pt. 1”? The answer… an unequivocal, “Hell yes.”

Sticking to what she does best, Robyn provides another album full of cutting edge electronic pop music with indie-cred feel that fits in perfectly in the zeitgeist of the Lady Gaga era. Opening track “In My Eyes,” leads off with a welcome of “Konichiwa Bitches” from Robyn (the title of one of her tracks from her 2007 “Robyn” album), and revels in cotton candy lyrics like, “The sun’s gonna shine on all of us… We’re all the same - stardust and stuff.” The track’s driving beat and melody are a welcome harbinger to the rest of the album’s outstanding tracks.

Stand out first single, “Hang With Me,” (which is reportedly a remake of a 2003 song by Robyn producer Klas Ahlund’s ex-wife), is the most pop-friendly gem of the new album. An acoustic version of the song closed out “Pt. 1” and now this more upbeat fully produced track could be poised to become one of the singer’s biggest hits to date. The “Hang With Me” video features a homage to Robyn fans everywhere – it’s an instantly iconic glimpse inside of the singer’s life on the road, and it shows Robyn at some of her most playful times.

Robyn also experiments with rap intermittently on several tracks, including “Include Me Out,” “Criminal Intent” and “U Should Know Better”… the latter of which is a collaboration with Snoop Dogg. All of these tracks are examples of Robyn’s boundary-breaking efforts amongst various genres. She doesn’t just play with the rules of pop music… she redefines them.

As with “Body Talk, Pt. 1,” Robyn closes “Pt. 2” with an acoustic track, this time it’s a haunting ballad titled “Indestructible.” Could a non-acoustic version of this track show up on “Pt. 3”? We’ll find out later this year – “Body Talk, Pt. 3” is tentatively-scheduled for release in December 2010.

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