Robyn returns with the vulnerable ‘Honey’

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It might have seemed as if Robyn peaked in 2010 with the acclaimed “Body Talk” project. “Honey” proves that to be false as it takes the listener on a pop journey into Robyn’s heartbreak and her road to freedom through self-love and nightlife. Robyn brings together Metronomy’s Joseph Mount and previous collaborator Klas Åhlund to create this glowing collection of bumping dance tracks.

The album kicks off with the lead single “Missing U,” which has a thumping electro-pop beat that is reminiscent of her earlier hits, “Call Your Girlfriend” and “Dancing on My Own.” This track dedicated to Robyn’s fans in regard to her absence feels especially vulnerable when compared to her earlier, more comedic tracks. It feels especially right and appropriate to kick the album off with this high energy track.

Robyn’s collaboration with Zhala, “Human Being,” is a well produced track that fits the overall sound of the album. That being said, the song is definitely a snooze. It is a bit of a disappointment that the only collaboration on the album is the least interesting track.

This disappointment is immediately made up for with the super catchy, transcendent-sounding “Because It’s In the Music.” Robyn proves yet again that she is a master of creating catchy pop tracks as she turns her pain into beauty. It is as if Robyn was born to create clubbing music that is about being sad.

The incredible relationship Robyn has with pop music can be heard in “Baby Forgive Me.” This track takes the listener to the 4 a.m. taxi ride home, as does “Send To Robin Immediately.” The way these tracks bleed together is so gorgeous and emotional with Robyn belting about her heartache.

“Honey,” the album’s title track, stands out as a high point not just for the album, but Robyn’s discography. The thumping house beat laced with the echoing sound of Robyn’s voice is catchy and nightclub ready. The lyrics full of euphemisms about honey is intensely sensual and clever, a common theme across Robyn’s work.

 

Robyn’s ear for production comes out throughout the album, which can be expected with this being her most involved album yet in terms of production. “Between the Lines” has an old-school house music vibe, resembling a song that could have been blasting in the 80s Chicago house scene. This ethereal track is essential Robyn with hopeless romantic themes mixed with an experimental dance beat.

“Beach2k20” is like nothing else on “Honey” with its talk-singing and five minutes in length. This track can grow a bit boring after a while as it seems like it could been cut at around four minutes, but it shows a different side of Robyn. Robyn surely brings a light, calming mood to the album with “Beach2k20” as she repeatedly whispers “let’s go party.”

The album comes to a perfect close with “Ever Again,” a song with a heavy disco influence. This track vulnerably has Robyn singing about never wanting to have her heart broken again. It is moments like this where the listener almost wants Robyn to get heartbroken because of all the good music that comes out of it.

Robyn’s eighth studio album and first album in eight years proves that she still has something to say. The production sound crisp and Robyn’s writing is super relatable. It can be hard to top an album as good as “Body Talk,” but Robyn did it with “Honey.”