Robyn - 'Hang With Me'
It's always great when a song comes with a little bit of room in it, a little space to play around in. It doesn't have to be much, just the sense that there is something incomplete in what you are listening to, something that you have to fill in for yourself.
That's not to say everything has to sound unfinished, just that you don't have to either explain or repeat every single impulse that went into making the song. You also don't have to make everything childishly simple. Clear is good, but if you leave some of your thoughts unfinished, and let everyone else finish them for you, it's almost like a conversation.
This is a perfect example. A fairly straightforward early-days relationship song about trust, from the perspective of someone who's a bit too tightly buttoned-up to let her defences down. She'd like to, but she's not going to.
It's also a song which raises questions left and right, and refuses to answer a single one of them.
(Here's the video. For a tour video it's amazingly unsweaty.)
For example: why does Robyn want to put someone through what seems to be a fairly rigorous selection process, just in order to be pals with them? Why does she want to be reassured that they can just be friends, and then sing "I know what's on your mind, and there'll be time for that too"?
Why does she insist that it would be a terrible idea for that selfsame person to "fall recklessly, headlessly in love" with her? Why is she so sure it'll lead to heartbreak? Is it because she's been hurt so badly in the past that she HAS to be in control of her relationships, to an obsessive degree, and therefore she knows she'll spoil things? Chances are it is, but we don't KNOW, and it's the not knowing which is the fun.
Well, the not-knowing and the deathless rush of the chorus, which is mighty. And Robyn's frail warble, which is always at its most powerful when she's acting tough. All of which combine to sell a song which - from other voices and dumber lyricists - would possibly struggle to be quite the thing it now is.
Luckily, this is not a problem we will ever have to deal with. *dusts off hands*
Pop Journalism says: 'Hang With Me' is Robyn's best single yet -- which is saying a lot considering her prodigious output over the past five years."
Spin Or Bin Music says: "It's difficult to chide her on not breaking new ground when she does what-she-does so well."
That Dork Jordan says: "I am in LOVE."