My First Album: Robyn’s Body Talk

Tom Routledge fondly remembers Robyn's Body Talk and considers its relevance today

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Pop music has always been somewhat of an obsession for me. When I look back on what started this, several songs, albums and moments come to ind, but none is more clear than hearing Robyn’s Body Talk for the first time. Re-listening to this 2010 classic almost a decade later, the production is still fresh and the lyrics remain heart-breaking.

It’s no secret that Robyn’s seventh album is considered to be one of the best pop albums of the 21st century and has often being regarded as the benchmark for everything that followed. Many of my favourite artists from Carly Rae Jepsen to Lorde credit Robyn, and this album specifically, with their songwriting styles of letting tear-inducing lyrics exist within euphoric pop anthems. This combination has always felt truly mesmerising to me and no one does it quite like Robyn. She’s an inspiration to many but remains supreme. Body Talk holds many iconic songs such as ‘Hang With Me’, ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ and, of course the highlight of her career, ‘Dancing On My Own’ all of which exhibit the musical styling which Robyn has become famous for. More experimental tracks such as the punchy opening track ‘Fembot’ and ‘We Dance to the Beat’ are inventive and elevate Body Talk from just a collection of songs to a cohesive and memorable body of work.

Robyn also holds a special place in my heart due to the love of this album being my first glimpse into the community which music can create. Recent videos of ‘Dancing On My Own’ being performed at Madison Square Garden in New York by a crowd of belting fans and the singalong which followed the concert on the subway platform emphasise her position as more than a pop artist. Her cult following, made up of predominantly queer people, is a reminder that everyone has a place in music. The lyrics on Body Talk about feeling like an outsider and having a fear of love have resonated with me for much of my life and continues to do so today.

The lyrics on Body Talk about feeling like an outsider and having a fear of love have resonated with me for much of my life

As previously mentioned, Robyn has served as an inspiration for many current pop stars suggesting that whilst her music is deeply personal, its delivery speaks to a generation of people just like her. This perfect contradiction is what enticed me to Body Talk from the beginning and kickstarted my interest and love of pop music.

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