f there's one European pop star who deserves worldwide success the most, it has to be Robyn. She's been making excellent, relevant, and exciting pop music for the past eight years and her latest self-titled album is her best yet. You may remember her biggest UK and US hit in 1998, the poptastic “Show Me Love.” Being Swedish, she got to work with Max Martin way before Britney, but her new album proves that unlike Britney, Robyn is not just a vehicle for great pop—she's driving!
Robyn is Robyn's first album on her very own record label, the Gwen Stefani-esqe Konichiwa Records. Robyn may have started off as the Swedish Britney but a comparison to the cooler and more versatile Miss Stefani would certainly be more suitable today. The album is still a very Swedish affair, being mostly produced by Klas Ahlund from my favourite hip-hop act (well, the only one I like, but they are brilliant), Teddybears Sthlm. However, that doesn't mean the album is any more hip-hop styled than her previous work. Although Robyn is still mostly within the pop/r'n'b genre Robyn is known for, there is a very strong electro influence which produces an original and varied sound for a pop album.
The first single from Robyn was the upbeat but heartfelt “Be Mine,” which was a huge hit in Sweden and led to the album’s entry at #1 upon its release. In fact, it's still at the top of the charts now after three weeks. The next single planned is "Who's That Girl," which will be very much worth a listen for any electro-pop fans as not only is it one of the best electro-pop singles I've heard recently, but it was also made with the help of top Swedish electro stars The Knife. It's the most instant song on the album and seems to be a fan favourite.
English may not be Robyn's first language, but that doesn't stop her from being one of the cleverest and wittiest pop stars around. Robyn's fierce put-downs illustrate this easily: "You're a selfish narcissistic psycho freaking boot-licking Nazi creep" ("Handle Me") and "I'll hammer your toe like a pediatrician / Saw you in half like I'm a magician" ("Konichiwa Bitches"). Even the ballads aren't soppy—my favourite slow track is called "Bum Like You"! Robyn may look and sound angelic but she's got a mind of her own.
Robyn manages to combine several of the currently popular music genres whilst still making a perfect pop album. It's different enough to stand out, but relevant enough to fit in on the radio. It's one of the few Europop albums that not only deserves worldwide domination, but also has a really good chance of achieving it. With Robyn's success in Scandinavia, plans for a worldwide release are being made—we can only hope that Robyn will soon be as big as her American counterparts.
Reviewed by: Jessica Popper
Reviewed on: 2005-06-01