tue 20/11/2018

CD: Robyn - Honey | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Robyn - Honey

CD: Robyn - Honey

Long-awaited album from beloved Scandi icon doesn’t disappoint

She released Honey, dammit.

Eight long years, Robyn fans have been waiting. Crazed tweets screamed #releasehoneydammit into the ether for weeks as the Swedish songwriter teased her new music.

Comeback single and certified summer earworm “Missing You” was the first song Robyn wrote for the album, but there was a time when she didn’t know if she’d ever make another record. What began as a breakup song soon took on feelings of bereavement after Christian Falk, her friend, collaborator and La Bagatelle Magique bandmate, died, after a short period of illness.

So Robyn isolated herself in the studio for a year, making lo-fi beats and moving around to her favourite dance records - yes, she was Dancing On Her Own (sic). But that’s not to say Honey is a one-woman show; an impressive list of collaborators includes Joseph Mount from Metronomy, Adam Bainbridge aka Kindness, and Swedish house maestro Mr. Tophat. The resulting album is an exploration of closeness and detachment, brightness and shade. There’s a barely-coded plea for human connection amongst the sparse, hypnotic rhythms of early track “Human Being”.

While 2010's Body Talk was home to some of Robyn’s biggest hits (Call Your Girlfriend, With Every Heartbeat, Dancing On My Own), Honey has a wholly different sound. These songs are less about chasing the euphoric pay-off of a chorus, and much more closely entwined with the woozy, pulsing club music, that simply exists to be enjoyed. “Because It’s In The Music” twinkles into life with soul and R&B flavours that wouldn’t be completely out of place on a Mariah Carey album. “Baby Forgive Me” is a slow burner that glimmers and glows. Vulnerability turns to assertiveness on “Send To Robyn Immediately”, and the album’s turning point proper comes in the rhythms and melodies of its mouthwatering title track. In her own words, Robyn says: “Honey, to me, was the feeling of sensuality and softness, and all the things I was growing in the studio, like a garden. This sweet place, like a very soft ecstasy. Something that's so sensual, and so good.”

Thereon in, we’re treated to “Between The Lines”, all dopamine-grooves, sending Off The Wall hurtling into the 21st century, understated Ibiza anthem “Beach2k20”, and blissfully optimistic closing track “Ever Again”. It's all there: pain, loss, alienation and rejuvenation. A gorgeous album from an exceptional artist.

@JoSoutherd

Alienation and rejuvenation, a stunning album

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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