By Andrew Breazeale, Contributor
Key Tracks: “Missing U”, “Send to Robin Immediately”, “Honey”
Swedish dance-pop icon Robyn has returned to the club scene with her eighth studio album, Honey. Beginning in 1995, her music career paved the way for modern pop and its use of electronic dance music, transforming the very definition of the genre. But after the death of a close friend and the separation from her long-time partner Max Vitali in 2014, she withdrew from music and quietly faded away from the public eye. Now, with a wistful look back and a powerful step forward, Robyn is back and ready to dance.
Read more: Album Review: Geotic – Traversa
The first tracks of the album are heavily characterized by the loss that Robyn felt after her friend’s death and her split from Vitali. Although she sounds upbeat and positive, “Missing U” defines the emptiness she felt after losing loved ones: “There’s this empty space you left behind / I keep thinking you’re still right beside me.” She continues this theme with the gorgeously produced “Because It’s In The Music”, a body-moving tune that shows off Robyn’s vocal range and her powerful voice. As she laments her lost lover and the music they used to dance to, synths and heavy bass lines create the uncontrollable need to dance. She continues to hold us captive with the title track “Honey”, a slow-building club song that overwhelms the brain with incredible production and a catchy chorus, slowly seducing the listener with “Baby, I have what you want / Come get your honey.”
“Beach2k20” is an offbeat, wild mess of sound and noise that combines texting sounds with grainy vocals and talking – transforming a simple beat into an upbeat and off-kilter club track. She simply talks about wanting to party and forgetting everything holding her back. This is an idea she further perpetuates in the closing track, “Ever Again”. Robyn has finally had it with loss, and she’s letting the world know that she’s “never gonna be broken hearted / Ever again.” We’re inclined to believe her, seeing she recently reunited with Max Vitali.
Many of the songs on this album act as a type of therapy for Robyn, allowing her to release her sadness and anger in a creative form while opening up to her fans. The closing track assures us that she will get past her problems, and with them behind her and her emotions on display for all to see, Robyn is sure to continue to surprise us with powerful, catchy songs that make us want to simultaneously cry and bust a move.