Lincoln High School Statesman

‘Honey’: Robyn makes a sweet comeback

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Robyn's newest album,

Robyn's newest album, "Honey," was released Oct. 26, 2018.

Konichiwa Records

Konichiwa Records

Robyn's newest album, "Honey," was released Oct. 26, 2018.

Timothy Stolp, Entertainment Editor

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Eight years since her last solo album, Robyn reclaims her place in the world of underground, melancholic dance pop: the throne.

With a considerably foreground reputation, Robyn’s fascination with synths and bizzare sampling sets her apart from many of her contemporaries. Robyn is often compared to Icona Pop or Lykke Li, both for having the same nation of origin, Sweden, as well as their similar grasp of the happy-sound, sad-lyric effect. While the attributions make sense, the queen of Swedish subverted pop is certainly Robyn. The global sensation that she became and continues to be is not solely indebted to the human brain’s craving for the quirky, but Robyn’s own.

From the beginning of her career in the late 90s, Robyn has been a young songstress and experimentalist. “Honey,” her newest rendition is no exception, but takes on near-masterpiece strength from the years of practice and creativity. In recent years, the revival of American fascination with Scandinavian (and Icelandic) music has bolstered the resurgence of the oddly club-friendly hit song. Robyn, perhaps superbly aware of the tideshift, capitalizes on what she does best.

Take for instance, her titular single, “Honey,” which has garnered seemingly nothing other than critical praise.

“The feeling you get when you listen to Robyn—the instant sense of obliteration in the surge of synth and strings—is almost too powerful,” wrote Jia Tolentino for The New Yorker. “I’ve always understood the music of the 39-year-old Swedish pop star to be something like a club drug: a substance that drastically increases your likelihood of dancing and crying simultaneously.”

Beginning with “Missing U,” the album skyrockets into the euphoric experience that Robyn is known for. The first song is essential Robyn material. As the album continues, Robyn veers into the silkier, slower side of her persona; on earlier records, where beats chopped and defined the vocal performance, Robyn’s lyrics and mouse-like voice are the star of the show.

“Honey,” the track which catalyzes the second half of the LP, takes listeners to their final destination in the album: the beach. As it would seem, with clear lyrical and title references (the song “Beach2k20”), Robyn’s final four songs are meant to depict a bright summer scene. However, it would not be a Robyn record without a conflict of emotion and sound.

“And the waves come in and they’re golden,” sings Robyn. “But down in the deep, the honey is sweeter. / And the sun sets on the water / But down in the deep the current is stronger.”

The push and pull that Robyn constantly plays around with in lyrics, sound and personality is a spectacle that she continues to develop. With “Honey,” the artist dives into a more sensual, summery set of sonic stories. At times random, others inviting, “Honey” is an album intended to innovatively express the bizarre balance of happy and sad that is often experienced in the same setting.

The Swedish songstress is back after eight years and arguably better than ever with an album to savor like honey.

Author
Timothy Stolp, Entertainment Editor

Timothy Stolp is a second-year Statesman staff member, serving as the Entertainment Editor. In his free time, Timothy works and participates in theater...

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