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Robyn - 'Indestructible'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:20 UK time, Saturday, 27 November 2010


No-one writes as eloquently about the devastating effects of bad love as Robyn does. No-one throws out lines as tough and knowing as "I never was smart with love, I let the bad ones in and the good ones go" or as pessimistically optimistic as "I'm gonna love you like I've never been hurt before", and still manages to make them sound romantic.

No wonder Coco Sumner was calling her punk rock a week or two ago. No-one else can quite list all the good reasons why it is a bad idea to throw your heart away on some goon, and then shrug and do it anyway.

And this is because, for all that she sounds like a desperate and frail little bird, Robyn is HARD. AS. NAILS.



(Here's the video. She has a fair set of pipes on her.)

The story of this song is tied up in her startling programme of record releases this year. Three mini-albums, all called Body Talk, and all containing new material, with the occasional overlap.

That's not an overlap like the Saturdays claiming to have remixed old album tracks in order to make up the numbers for their own mini-album, this is the kind of overlap where there are two different versions of the songs she puts out as singles, and they've been spread across the different mini-albums so that each one has its own flow and identity.

So, there's a slow, meditative version of the barnstorming 'Hang With Me' on 'Body Talk pt.I', using strings and piano, which makes the subsequent single version seem all the more dazzling. And the same trick has been repeated with this song on 'Body Talk pt.II'. The acoustic version is set to a string-quartet, and is stunning. And the other, synthier, dancier version on part III hits hard, like one of the better heartbreak songs Abba wrote, but set to modern synthpop instead of '70s disco.

And of course, it's another song about dancing and being terrified/upset at the same time. Robyn has cornered the market in creating that devastating happysad feeling, which throws romantic caution to the wind all the while knowing that the chances of success are slim to none.

Special points awarded for that faux-classical synth solo in the middle, because it is every bit as desperate as Robyn herself.

Although nowhere near as hard, obv.*

Five starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

* Might've made the hardness point before. Consider this the acoustic, violins and cellos remix...

Rolling Stone says: "She sings an uncommonly elegant Europop melody"

Pop Serum! says: "Lyrically, one of Robyn's best songs. Ever. "

It's Pop! says: "Once again it's a total triumph that puts Robyn very high on my list of favourite artistes of 2010 ever."


  • Comment number 1.

    Great review. Absolutely amazing song, yet again. Thrilling, pulsating, uplifting yet full of emotion - it's everything you could ask for in a dance-pop song. Robyn was always great anyway, but this year she has taken things to another level. It's criminal she gets overlooked by the mainstream in favour of the likes of Katy Perry and Kesha, who Robyn is light years ahead of musically. Her songs are brilliant - catchy, danceable, relatable, full of feeling - in other words ideal for the charts, but she's just not tabloid-friendly enough, and not marketed in the right way to be commercially successful. It's the mainstream's loss.


    p.s. Fraser, why does the end of your review link to aggrosantos.com ? :P

  • Comment number 2.

    Fantastic song that could easily do as well as Dancing On My Own commercially if it wasn't for the video. I'm not saying it's bad, it's actually very well made, but it's hardly gonna get played on commercial television which is disappointing. To be honest the whole Body Talk campaign has been badly managed in my opinion, the songs are easily good enough to reach the level of success she had with 'Robyn' but none have yet managed to really set the charts on fire.

    Nevertheless, another amazing song 5 Stars

  • Comment number 3.

    I love this song as good as dancing on my own why robyn has limited success is beyond me shes likt the cool lady gaga with more meaningful songs and without the need to wear a tea pot to appear edgy but in my oppinion body talk 1 then 2 then 3 with the entire series released as one was a bit of a bother and not a risk that paid off plus lack or no premotion probably didnt help.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think that fame ruins a singer. Honestly, this is much better than anything ke$ha has to offer, but if Robyn got that sort of fame... her songs just wouldn't be as good as this.

    6 Stars.

  • Comment number 5.

    great review.

    i agree with above that it's criminal that Robyn does not have more success than she does, and as much as 'other' female stars, but at the same time, think i prefer it that way. I think she keeps her credibility, and also means i am able to see her live in much smaller venues and therefore enjoy it more!!

    Robyn has made my 2010 super awesome!


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