Don't Even Ask The Question And I Won't Tell The Lie

Robyn by Robyn

If I've been listening to pop music, or those that are heavily influenced by it, it's because I'm tired. It's been winter here since September (as my friend so aptly put it, "If I have to put a jacket on to go outside, it's still winter."). Everyone around me wants to spread hate and negativity. The constant, constant, jabbering and squabbling is driving me crazy. It's not that I need sunshine, or everyone to fake a smile. I don't need a hug, or for people to tell jokes to the point that it's just humiliating. I just want people to forget their burdens for just one day, to let go of their need to talk, and to just stop the hating and needing and resenting. So I've been listening to pop music, trying to incur something other than the negativity I'm surrounded by.

Robyn opens with a cliche, but a cute one at that; a spoken introduction to Robyn ends with the lines: "In this world of tension, pressure and pain, she's known by men and women of all origin and faith for her wisdom, compassion, and relentless determination in the quest to get paid." From here on, Robyn manages to be both endearing and just kind of funny (she uses lines like "You're a selfish narcissistic psycho freaking bootlicking Nazi pimp and you can't handle me").

But what draws me to this album, personally, is the way it reminds me of pop music I might have listened to as a child (kind of Spice Girls but better). Admittedly, my music tastes have changed drastically since childhood (they change drastically on a week-to-week basis), but I think my inner child and I can find some common ground with Robyn. For one thing, Robyn manages to offer both mature enough content to warrant a parental advisory sticker while being simple enough that the ten year old in me would have idolized ("Who's That Girl?" might have been her personal anthem for quite a few years). On the other side of things, Robyn is a wonderfully dance-y album, dabbling with electronic beats and making stunningly cheeky lyrics.

The first two tracks serve as a the stereotypical introductory tracks; "Konichiwa Bitches" depicts Robyn as "so very hot that when [she] robs your mansion/You ain't call the cops, you call the fire station" while in "Cobrastyle" Robyn finds herself stating "I press trigger I don't press people button" (does the album really need three cliche opening tracks?). The album doesn't actually delve into more substance until the fourth track, "Handle Me" (which features the interesting little quote at the end of paragraph two). Most songs on the album deal with love, both the ups and the downs. In "Handle Me" Robyn is turning down some bar fly, while in "Bum Like You" she sings about her devotion, singing "Your car's a dump and you're broke/that's alright/I never liked them fancy guys". "With Every Heartbeat" Robyn is trying to "make it alright" to the point that "it hurts with every heartbeat". From "Eclipse" to "Anytime You Like", Robyn slows it down a little with slightly sweeter and more serious lyrics, but ends the album off with "Jack U Off", which is about jacking off your partner in various locations.

While Robyn is no work of art, it is mercifully short, never staying too long in any given cliche. And, since it indulges my inner child (who is woefully malnourished since I stopped listening to Mariah Carey when I turned 12), Robyn is one of the few pop albums I actually enjoy.

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