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Robyn makes a comeback on ‘Honey’

| Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lina Domenella | The Observer

I am by no means a music connoisseur. I stick to the basic chart-hitting pop songs, occasionally stray to a few indie pop songs here and there and even prefer country music above all else. I rarely break this mold I’ve created for myself, other than the infrequent exploration of a randomly generated Spotify playlist. The closest thing to an ’80s-style album I’ve ever listened to is Taylor Swift’s “1989.”

To say the least, my music taste is superbly basic and utterly boring in comparison to others. Yet I am more than content remaining loyal to my various playlists loaded with Thomas Rhett, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. So when my ears heard the first notes of the Swedish singer Robyn’s comeback album “Honey,” I was far more than skeptical about the musical road I was about to journey down.

Robyn rose to fame in 1995 with the release of her first album, titled “Robyn Is Here,” and the fame continued with the releases of her albums “My Truth” in 1999, “Robyn” in 2005 and the “Body Talk” series in 2010. However, after the release of “Body Talk Pt. 2,” Robyn simply fell off the music grid, leaving her fans high and dry for the next eight years.

Her music is reminiscent of the ’80s, with its electronic sounds laid over a classic pop style. Most known for her top single, “Dancing On My Own.” Robyn’s lyrics center on love and relationships, and her music is rebellious and unapologetic. She breaks the typical mold for her era and is very successful in doing so, having earned herself four Grammy Award nominations over the course of her first six albums releases. Her latest album, “Honey,” is no exception to her usual spunk. It carries on the sounds of her previous albums, with an ’80s influence sprinkled uniquely throughout each song.

As always, Robyn breaks the mold of a typical pop album, incorporating sounds of past decades in “Honey.” The album is ordered in the sequence in which the songs were written, telling a story of growth as an individual and in a relationship. Each song is a deep dive into her inner emotions and her battles with love. “Missing U” starts off the album strong with an ’80s electronic intro and lyrics reminiscing about a faded relationship. “Missing U” is noticeably the most popular track from the album, receiving over 15 million streams on Spotify and making it the third most streamed song in her catalogue.

There is an immediate shift of tone from “Missing U” to “Human Being,” the second song of the album. “Human Being” is noticeably darker and different from the rest and includes a feature from the artist Zhala; although I found it rather unappealing, it still seems to be liked among loyal fans. My personal favorite track and the namesake of the album, “Honey,” does the most justice for the vocal abilities which Robyn possesses. The lyrics include beautiful similes on love, and her voice is smooth and sweet, hitting every note softly and perfectly. Evidently, I am not the only one who finds this particular song captivating, as it comes in at third place for the most streams from this album, with over four million streams. The album as a whole is a spectacular creation of electronic infused pop hits. Robyn’s alluring vocals laid over such unique beats and rhythms makes for an enjoyable listening experience and a beautiful album as a whole.

As I concluded my listening experience of “Honey,” I found myself extremely and pleasantly surprised. With such an excellent voice and unique style, it’s hard to believe that Robyn could ever be viewed as anything less than spectacular. The album found itself in the No. 1 slot on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart almost immediately following its release, evidencing the talent which Robyn possesses. So to those of you who, like me, lack variety in music taste, don’t be afraid to take a risk and give a quick listen to Robyn’s latest album; you may find yourself pleasantly surprised and your music taste suddenly broadened.

Artist: Robyn

Album: “Honey”

Label: Konichiwa Records

Favorite Tracks: “Missing U,” “Honey”

If You Like: Tove Lo, Charli XCX

Shamrocks4 out of 5

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