Friday, December 07, 2007

With Every Heartbeat

Song: With Every Heartbeat
Artist: Robyn
Album: Robyn

Keeping up with European dance-pop, on top of everything else, is somewhat a difficult task. There’s just a ton of it, and many one-hit wonders that you couldn’t necessarily call “artists.” (Europe is, after all, a continent that let a cartoon frog have a huge pop hit.) While I had heard of Robyn, the Swedish pop star that got her start in the early 90’s, I had lumped her in with Debra Cox and other big vocal dance artists who’s music seems exclusively designed for gay men and whatever party they might be attending at the time. My friend Chris, whom I met in Barcelona, recently brought Robyn up, and recommended her recent self-titled album. So I picked it up and must say it’s not what I expected… mainly because it sounds nothing like Debra Cox. (A lesson to actually listen to music before you write it off.)

“Robyn” the album has an interesting history… it was originally released in Sweden in 2005 and garnered many hit singles, but was recently re-released in the U.K. with a slightly different track list, most notably the addition of “With Every Heartbeat.” With the re-release to “re-introduce” Robyn to the U.K., she chose “Konichiwa Bitches” as the first single. The song was on the original version of ‘Robyn” but was never a single in Sweden. It’s an odd song, a mix of electro-pop, hip-hop, and a vaguely Asian vibe… but it has grown on me. It did not fare so well in the U.K. though, failing to get much air or video play.

Despite the tepid reaction to “Bitches,” Robyn’s second single in the U.K., “With Every Heartbeat” has become an international hit and her best charting single to date. (and thus helping “Bitches” chart status.) The song has even begun to penetrate the U.S. dance charts. It’s quite a lush, beautiful dance song that recalls some of Kylie’s mid-tempo dance-ballads, as well as Kate Bush… whom Robyn sounds JUST like vocally on this song. The heavy strings mid-song are an interesting choice, but I find fit just perfectly as an emotional grounding before the song amps up once again with an insistent beat and Robyn’s continued mantra; “it hurts with every heartbeat.”

Dance-pop gold!


Konichiwa Bitches

With Every Heartbeat

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