CD roundup — Robyn and Girls

Synthpop princess disappoints with newest installment while neo-surf rockers grow up

Grace Gouker

 

Robyn âÄî âÄúBody TalkâÄù

Label: Cherrytree

Released:Nov. 22

 

Blair Waldorf epitomizes excess. Whether itâÄôs her $40,000 shopping sprees in Paris, chauffeured commute to Columbia University, or in-house pedicures, the âÄúGossip GirlâÄù character has an enviable lifestyle. Her birthday party featuring Robyn two weeks ago was no exception.

The Swedish stunner serenaded Blair and her guests with, âÄúHang with Me,âÄù one of two singles from her new album, âÄúBody Talk.âÄù

The release that wooed the cast of âÄúGossip GirlâÄù is part of the third and final installment in its series, also called âÄúBody Talk.âÄù The LP has five songs from each of the previous two installments and five original tracks. Max Martin, RobynâÄôs producer back in the late âÄò90s, has returned with the same brilliance he exhibited on âÄúDo You Know (What It Takes)âÄù and âÄúShow Me Love.âÄù Ironically, the song he produced could potentially remind listeners of seventh-grade trips to the roller rink. âÄúTime MachineâÄù has good hooks with stellar production, but lyrics referring to âÄúBack to the FutureâÄù are more kitschy than catchy.

âÄúNone of DemâÄù [ft. Röyksopp], which was on âÄúBody Talk Pt. 1,âÄù commands attention. âÄúIndestructible,âÄù a synth-pop remix of the acoustic track of the same name on âÄúPt. 2,âÄù is worth revisiting, too. Three of the songs on the third installment arenâÄôt worth scoping out to begin with.

The major qualm to be had about this album is that the newly released songs donâÄôt quite match the quality of their correlates released in the first and second parts. As a whole, âÄúBody TalkâÄù is a success. âÄúBody Talk Pt. 3,âÄù however, is a miss.

 

Rating: 2.5 out of 4

 

Girls âÄî âÄúBroken Dreams Club EPâÄù

Label:True Panther Sounds

Released:Nov. 22

 

Girls have released only one album, aptly called âÄúAlbum,âÄù which stunned critics and casual listeners alike.TheyâÄôve put out a few singles and are now releasing their first EP. Their sound, stewing only since 2008, is already solidified.

Lead singer Christopher Owens, former member of Ariel Pink and current Girls mastermind, wrote an introductory and sincerely thankful scribbling for the EP. His description of the enclosed tracks was not a haughty proclamation of Girls reaching sound-mastering adulthood, but rather a humble and excited declaration of their progressive pubescence.

âÄúThee Oh So Protective OneâÄù cradles their adolescent counterparts with devastating yet flirtatious sound. Though telling a tale any teenage girl stricken by false devotion might reveal, itâÄôs told in a sage voice with the sympathy of a saint.

âÄúCarolinaâÄù simultaneously unleashes and restricts the band, exposing to its audience to their well-known drugged, manic guitar, while drawing itself out into a no manâÄôs land of ballsy riffs.

The improvement shown in this EP serves as a testimony to just how far this talented band could go.

 

Rating: 3 out of 4