Robyn
Honey


3.5
great

Review

by Divaman USER (156 Reviews)
December 9th, 2018 | 55 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: She's a human being.

As a general rule, most of America's pop divas leave me cold. I could care less about Beyonce, or Ariana Grande. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's that a lot of them are more R&B based, and their style just doesn't speak to me. Instead, I find myself more drawn to international stars, such as Australia's Sia. And I'm particularly fond of the Swedish electropop queen Robyn.

I'll admit, I'm a relatively late passenger to the Robyn train. I don't even know how I first became aware of her. I do remember somehow picking up a copy of her 2010 album Body Talk (the full version that combines the two smaller EPs), and it became one of my favorite albums of that year. I also bought her 2014 EP with Royksopp (I like it to think of them as Robyn and the Robots), Do It Again, and I thought the song "Monument" was one of the best songs of that year. I was less impressed with the EP she did with La Bagatelle Magique in 2015, Love Is Free. But it would be fair to say that I've become quite an admirer of this artist. So when I heard that Robyn had a new album coming out, I was naturally quite interested.

I'll tell you right off the bat that Honey is a totally different animal than Body Talk. It's quieter, and much less pop-oriented. There's a muted quality to it, and an air of something akin to desperation. The vibe throughout much of the LP is similar to that of a dance club (or a strip club) at 3 AM. There's a longing to the music, and some kind of an emotional hole that you just know can't really be filled.

Robyn has a genuinely pretty voice, but she holds back a lot here, appropriately, given the material she's working with. "Human Being", which is my favorite song on the album, is slow and a little droning, with a strange electronic percussive pattern to it. It's almost as much spoken as it is sung. "Beach 2k20" which has a more upbeat mood, is still muffled, and largely spoken-word. The closest thing you'll find on Honey to the music on Body Talk would probably be the last song on the album, "Ever Again". This is a mid-tempo song with a prominent bass pattern, which finds Robyn asserting herself to her lover, demanding "Come on, let's have it out," and declaring, "That shit's out the door". The verse features a vow, both to him and to herself: "I'm never gonna be brokenhearted/Ever again." So I guess that while there's an air of dejection throughout much of the LP, it all works out in the end.

It's worth noting that the album art for Honey is intentionally garish, and kind of ugly. It features an uncomfortably close-up photo of Robyn's face and shoulders, as she gazes directly into the camera while sprawled in an awkward-looking position, belly down on a bed. The color scheme for the background is a bright, gaudy mixture of reddish-orange and neon green. It's all in keeping with that glitzy dance hall/strip club atmosphere.

I don't love this album as much as I do Body Talk, and it's probably not going to be one of my Top Ten LP's of 2018. But it's still a damned fine album, and it won't miss my Top Ten list by much. Robyn continues to interest me as an artist. I'd recommend Honey to anyone who finds themselves drawn to slow, electronic dance pop music.



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user ratings (106)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Divaman
December 9th 2018


3304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

We've got a weird copy of the cover art here on Sputnik, that makes it look as if blood is running down the right side of Robyn's face. This is just a bad jpeg, though, as the actual photo simply features that part of her face in the shadows.

Digging: Joe Jackson - Fool

Dewinged
December 9th 2018


14397 Comments


Oh yeah, that cover is weird, did you submit new art Diva?

Anyway, good review man, I haven't checked this one tbh, never felt like it was my thing but your review made me curious.

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Crucible

Divaman
December 9th 2018


3304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No, I didn't. I just noted the problem so people wouldn't look at the picture and think it was an album about violence against women.

Dewinged
December 9th 2018


14397 Comments


No prob, I just submitted new art.

luci
December 9th 2018


10559 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

missing u is closest to the body talk sound. it’s intended to be a bridge from that record to this one

Toad
December 9th 2018


1994 Comments


missing u is a miracle of a pop song
dreamscale synths all day

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2018


7487 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The triptych of Baby Forgive Me / Send To Robin Immediately / Honey is one of my favorite stretches of music this year. Sublime pop engineering.

DoofDoof
December 10th 2018


1920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes, that run is what cemented my 3.5 rating for this album, three of the best pop songs of the year

Digging: Bobbie Gentry - The Delta Sweete

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2018


16663 Comments


This is an interesting and good album. “Human Being” is my favorite

luci
December 10th 2018


10559 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

missing u is more harrowing than anything on those mount eerie records

granitenotebook
December 10th 2018


841 Comments


missing u and that three-song run are fantastic, yeah.

brandontaylor
December 10th 2018


768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

as much as i was hoping for some more of the pop maximalism of body talk, i enjoy restrained 3am-on-the-dancefloor robyn here, although i cant help but wish she came back with more after such a long break.

hamid95
December 11th 2018


626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It does feel like a bit slight as a release after such a long while, but it does have some of the best songs of the year.

osmark86
December 11th 2018


8327 Comments


she's back!

Digging: KAS:ST - Dysphoria | Euphoria (Chapter 1)

zakalwe
December 11th 2018


26509 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

That is one gorgeous looking bird.

Digging: Rustin Man - Drift Code

osmark86
December 11th 2018


8327 Comments


she's

TwigTW
December 12th 2018


3630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The cover photo reminds me of Bowie... didn't even connect this to Body Talk at first. I should go back and give that a listen.

bloc
December 12th 2018


54378 Comments


Damn didn't even know this had a review. Was waiting for one to pop up.

Love the album cover, one of my favs from this year. Need to give this another listen and hopefully I can get this into my top 10.

Digging: The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike

zakalwe
December 12th 2018


26509 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

That is a real woman

bloc
December 12th 2018


54378 Comments


I gotta see how phat the ass is first before deciding



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