Robyn's prolific 2010 culminated with Body Talk, the full-length album that featured songs from the Body Talk, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 EPs, plus enough new songs to make up a third EP. Releasing that much new music within six months was a feat in and of itself, but the fact that each part of Body Talk was so consistent made the whole project even more impressive. And, by revealing bits and pieces of what went into the final album -- as well as parts that didn’t -- Robyn offered her fans a window into her process, allowing glimpses of the moods and approaches that go into making an album and letting listeners get to know these songs in different contexts. Of course, Body Talk's appeal isn’t just experimental: by picking the best of the project’s songs, it feels like a greatest-hits collection and brand-new album rolled into one. Familiarity suits these songs well, whether it's the tight, bright "Fembot," the aching "Dancing on My Own," or "Hang with Me," which swoons with arpeggios that sound like falling recklessly in love, even though that's just what Robyn warns against. Hearing the songs from the EPs on Body Talk makes Body Talk, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 feel like deluxe singles from the album, as well as its building blocks. However, different versions of these tracks, like the more anthemic take on "In My Eyes," ensure that the album doesn’t feel cobbled together. Some songs sound even better here than they did on the EPs: "Love Kills" and "None of Dem'"s playful dancehall function more clearly as bridges to other tracks than they did before. Body Talk's new songs also make good on the EPs' gradual shift from fierce independence to togetherness, particularly on "Call Your Girlfriend," a thoughtful twist on a love triangle that finds Robyn enjoying new love while being concerned for someone hurt by it, and "Stars 4-Ever," which gives a fizzy, Euro-dance tinged happy ending to the Body Talk project. After the EPs' conciseness, the album feels downright roomy, and maybe slightly too long; obviously, Robyn had a lot of songs to work with. Overall, though, Body Talk is more focused than Robyn, and just as bold in the intimacy it creates with listeners.
Body Talk Review
by Heather Phares