Remember Cookies Roller Rink? (C’mon, don’t make me feel like Andy Rooney here. All right, I guess it was a helluva long time ago. Sigh.) Something about Robyn’s electro pop sound takes me back to my ’80s childhood, when us girls would skate around the neon-lit rink to the singles of the day. Not that there’s anything retro about Robyn’s tunes production-wise. But the Swedish singer’s exuberance and attitude hearken back to the heyday of artists like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper — women who made catchy music but also projected strength.
Instead of offering herself up as an interchangeable sex symbol (I’m looking at you, Ke$ha and Katy Perry!), Robyn has charted a much different course than many of her peers by starting her own record label, co-writing and co-producing her albums and becoming an engaging live performer. On her seventh record (a compilation of three EPs released this year) Robyn offers up 15 tracks — more than half of which feature unbelievably awesome choruses (take “Indestructible” for starters) as sweet and elastic as taffy. Give or take a couple of weaker tracks, you’ll be hard pressed to find another dance pop record as fun as this in 2010.
Review appears in the December 2nd issue of prairie dog magazine.
*For all of you who didn’t have the great distinction of growing up in Regina in the 80’s, Cookies Roller Rink was an ultra-cheesy (you guessed it) roller-skating rink situated in an old cookie factory on the outskirts of town – closer to White City actually. In my pre-teen years, it was de rigueur to have your birthday party there.
*I didn’t have the space to elaborate on my feminist rant in the print version… but I really appreciate that Robyn acts like a grown up in her videos and live performances. You never get the sense that she’s angling for a Maxim cover or trying to fit a 14-year old boy’s definition of what’s hot. Instead, she seems relatable and totally in control of her image. I find that pretty refreshing. Check out this performance of “Dancing On My Own” on Letterman and let me what you think!