Review: Robyn

Five long years after becoming a hipster fave, a Swedish pop star returns with big plans.

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5

It's been five long years since Robyn first released the self-titled album that transformed her from aging teen-pop also-ran to hipster-fave electro star. (After conquering much of Europe, including her native Sweden, Robyn received an overdue American release in 2008.) Now it appears she's making up for lost time; this eight-track follow-up is the first of three Body Talk sets Robyn intends to issue before the end of 2010. Talk about feast after famine.

Whether or not those plans pan out, Pt. 1 makes for a pretty delicious meal by itself, with Robyn's assured vocals laid over chewy indie-disco grooves that keep revealing traces of other flavors: computerized reggae in "Dancehall Queen," super-club techno in "Don't Fucking Tell Me What to Do" and M.I.A.-style jungle funk in "None of Dem," a killer collaboration with Norway's Ryksopp. "Hang with Me" and "Jag Vet en Dejlig Rosa" even make a convincing case for Robyn's place among future-soul balladeers such as Sia.

In Body Talk's two finest cuts, Robyn makes no attempt to conceal her scene-veteran status, but instead presents a kind of triumphant world-weariness that calls to mind someone like Annie Lennox. "Back in suburbia kids get high and make out on the train," she sings in "Cry When You Get Older," and it's remarkable how much emotion she packs into such a simple image.

Robyn plays the Music Hall of Williamsburg Wed 28 and Webster Hall Aug 4 and 5.

Buy Body Talk Pt. 1 on iTunes

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Body Talk Pt. 1 (Konichiwa/Cherrytree/Interscope)