Write Robyn off at your peril. It might have been eight years since her last solo effort – two collaborative EP’s have surfaced in the meantime – but eighth studio album Honey is a sparkling return to form from one of Sweden’s most beloved producers and pop stars.
It’s certainly a change in dynamic from the Body Talk series that Robyn produced at the end of the last decade. Honey is one of those rare albums that is both somber and catchy at the same time – just listen to ‘Send to Robin Immediately’, with a slow, ambient build into a cool, electro-pop beat incorporating strings and a lyrical content that gives life advice to whoever might be listening at the time.
It’s not the only example; the title track as well, with a hook of “I don’t have what you need/but I have what you want” a statement on not the temptations and wants of society but the world as well. Even ‘Beach 2k20’, which should be a light and bouncy number screaming to be remixed for nightclubs across the globe, is rendered moody and sobering.
Yet, this doesn’t detract at all – Robyn has balanced the contrast perfectly, something that is apparent to any of the nine tracks you listen to. From the lead single ‘Missing U’s catchy chorus to the haunting echoes on her voice in ‘Baby Forgive Me’, every song represents an artist who is not afraid to go against the grain and try something new.
At a time when innovation can be found wanting in the majority of chart music, Robyn has ensured she remains at the forefront, even when Honey could be considered a comeback album. Importantly, it remains strong from the first note to the last, with ‘Ever Again’ incorporating a funky bassline and ending the album on a more positive note than otherwise.
As Robyn enters her forties, her prowess remains unrivaled, save for a few exceptional individuals. It takes something special to come back after a long absence and deliver at the first attempt, but she is that in every sense.