Twenty-eight-year-old Swedish pop singer Robyn—whose hits in the ’90s were produced by the team that helped launch the career of Britney Spears—released a self-titled album in North America on April 29th, which is being praised by many critics as a highly innovative batch of songs and a brave departure from the work of her teenage years. The album has gained Robyn a large following in Europe since coming out there in 2005, but some critics doubt that she can make it big on this side of the Atlantic.
What the commentators said
“If there were any justice,” said Chris Willman in Entertainment Weekly, “the divas who’ve been trading off the No. 1 slot—Mariah, Madonna, and newcomer Leona Lewis—would also be slugging it out with a platinum-blond dark horse from Scandinavia.” Robyn’s latest album is incredible. "Not since Pink’s M!ssundaztood has an easily dismissed young thrush made so unexpected a leap to career artist.”
Well, she’s “arriving in North America amidst a nest of critical praise,” said Robert Ballantyne in PopJournalism.ca, “including bandwagon-jumping promotion from blogger Perez Hilton.” Now “the only thing left is for her to become a household name” here. If her recent show in Toronto “is any indication,” it shouldn’t be too hard for her to do—“the crowd knew every lyric by heart just a week after” her “domestic release.”
It is impressive that Robyn’s three-year-old album “still feels as fresh as, or fresher than, anything on the radio right now,” said Luciana Lopez in the blog Oregon Live. But that’s “either a testament to the album’s quality or an indictment of American pop music—or both.”
Her music may not be for everyone, said Jason Anderson in AOL’s blog Eye Weekly. “North American listeners may have less appreciation for such an experimental approach to pop music than Robyn’s European fans.” Not to mention the fact that “Europeans have never been so hung up on matters of authenticity or purity as those who hail from the birthplace of so many of modern music’s key components.”
“For those of you who weren’t 12 year-old girls, speed skating at the roller rink to such poppy songs as ‘’94-‘95’s,’ ‘Show Me Love,’ and ‘Do You Know it Takes,’” said the blog Muzzle of Bees, “I completely understand how lunatics such as myself may be over-hyping this Swedish pop sensation.” On the other hand, “those of you who love to have a guilt-free time” dancing to “pounding bass, synths, and irresistibly delicious girly vocal harmonies, than you know what I’m talking about. Robyn is awesome.”
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