Robyn ★★★★★

The Guardian Weekly - - Culture - Alexis Petridis

“No, you’re not go­ing to get what you need,” be­gins the ti­tle track of Robyn’s first al­bum in eight years. The track is os­ten­si­bly lan­guid and sexy, but un­der the sur­face it prick­les with un­ease. It sets the tone for an al­bum that is never stingy with tunes, but on which the themes of heart­break and de­spon­dency seem to have seeped into the songs’ sonic fab­ric. “There’s no res­o­lu­tion,” Robyn sings on Hu­man Be­ing, and she could be de­scrib­ing the mu­sic around her. Her vo­cals are cut adrift amid drones that bend out of tune. On Baby For­give Me, her vo­cal is haunted by a sin­is­ter, off-key elec­tronic shadow. Some­where in the dis­tance there’s the muf­fled sound of an au­di­ence cheer­ing: it’s as if they’ve been shut out. The clos­est the al­bum comes to rais­ing a smile is Ever Again. Whether the al­bum ends up ex­ert­ing the kind of in­flu­ence over the Top 40 that her ear­lier re­leases did seems ques­tion­able – it feels al­most too opaque and in­ward-look­ing for mass ap­peal. As ev­i­dence of a unique artist pur­su­ing a per­sonal vi­sion in a world filled with the com­mon­place, how­ever, Honey is per­fect.

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