Robyn

My Truth

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    7
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Despite a string of big hits and platinum sales for her debut, Robyn's sophomore effort was never even released in America. Her U.S. record company feared that the record would fail to connect with pop radio, and Robyn, who co-wrote every track, refused to compromise her artistic vision. In the resultant struggle the album was lost, although it was another hit in her native Sweden. Listening to the record, you can understand why the record company was nervous. At the same time, though, it's hardly a radical departure from Robyn Is Here. Indeed, in many ways it's a step forward. While that album was bogged down in filler and samey production, this album is much more organic and mature. There are no truly weak moments. There is a greater focus on the lyrics, which are generally intelligent and introspective. This is not to say that Robyn transformed herself into Lisa Loeb; lead single "Play" is as playful a song as she's ever recorded. Other highlights include the funky "Main Thing" and the distinctive, minimal "Electric." The main problem with the album is that the hooks just aren't as instant or irresistible as those of "Show Me Love" and "Do You Know?" It takes several listens for the songs to really sink in, which could have spelled death among the fast, disposable sounds of pop radio in 1999. Also, the album has a uniformity of sound that can make some songs drift in and out without really making any impression. Record executives may also have been nervous about songs such as "Giving You Back" and "88 Days," which deal with Robyn's guilt over a youthful abortion. Not a commercial blockbuster then, nor a perfect listen, but this album does mark an important step forward for Robyn as an artist, and should be of interest to any fans of her later work.

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