Robyn

Body Talk, Pt. 2

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Robyn declared her independence on Body Talk Pt. 1, but on the project's second volume, two's company. Trading hard-edged dance floor assaults for softer but still sleek sounds, she sings the praises of companionship and support and proves that stylish, cutting-edge pop doesn't have to be competitive or egotistical. This friendly vibe is apparent from the beginning of "In My Eyes," which opens Body Talk Pt. 2 with a sweet, and catchy, message of reassurance to misfits and outsiders. Bookended by Robyn's assurances that "It's gonna be OK!," it couldn't be more different than "Don't Fucking Tell Me What to Do," Body Talk Pt. 1's opening salvo. Even on more kinetic tracks like "Include Me Out" and "We Dance to the Beat," it's all about sharing the groove, not dancing on one's own. Speaking of which, Pt. 2's single "Hang With Me" is just as good as "Dancing on My Own." It appeared on Pt. 1 as a somber yet hopeful acoustic ballad, but here she gives it the full Robyn treatment, with longtime producer Klas Ahlund transforming it into emotionally complex pop that rivals Robyn's "Be Mine!" Meanwhile, the acoustic "Indestructible" and "Love Kills" reflect the downside of needing someone, whether it's reaching beyond past hurts for new love or dealing with a breakup's immediate aftermath. Hip-hop tinged tracks featuring Diplo ("Criminal Intent") and Snoop Dogg (the exuberant "U Should Know Better") help maintain the mini-album's connection with Body Talk Pt. 1 while maintaining the set's own identity. Two thirds of the way through the Body Talk project, it's clear that this experiment is reaping rich rewards for Robyn and her listeners.

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