Robyn released her new album, Honey, last Friday. Wade in the Sonic Joy is here to give you their review of the the LGBTQ icon’s new music.
Robyn is back to annihilate the music industry with yet another timeless masterpiece. ‘Honey’ came out last night and it’s quite the treat. It’s been 8 years since Robyn’s legendary audio bible, ‘Body Talk’, was released and although ‘Honey’ is a slight departure from the loud, club ready anthems people have come to expect from Robyn, it is quite a gorgeous work of sonic art.
Released on October 26th, under the full moon in Scorpio, Robyn unleashed ‘Honey’ to her fans to consume. At its core, ‘Honey’ is a pop record; however, it is beautifully subdued and ushers in elements of deep house, disco, r&b, and lo-fi. While these genres aren’t completely out of Robyn’s realm, she definitely used the components to introduce a softer sound, with even more sure-of-herself lyrics to uplift the masses. With the stripped back production style, the vocals and lyrics are at the forefront to grab you, and take you into Robyn’s journey since her almost-decade long absence. You’re no longer lost in the electro beats, dancing and crying; you can sit back and soak up the rich yet sweet songs.
The first single, and opening track, ‘Missing U’ is a melancholy segue that acts as a gateway between ‘Body Talk’ and ‘Honey’. It is a brutally honest, yearning heartthrob of a track that has splashes of nostalgia from Robyn’s earlier works, with gentle healing lyrics. ‘Missing U’ is not representative of the production themes on the rest of the album, yet it feels seamlessly cohesive. Robyn has stated that this song has multiple meanings, one meaning being she has missed her devoted fans for years. Another meaning involves the loss of her friend and collaborator Christian Falk, as well as her recent personal breakup. This track contains the essential Robyn-esque synth patterns we have all come to know and love, but it keeps its pace. The song never takes off; it keeps the listener in the blurry haze of missing someone and needing that absent space filled. “All the love you gave, it still defines me” fills that empty space with self love as the album unfolds and the story develops.
‘Human Being’ is here to remind listeners that we are all human. We are all guilty of fucking up at times. We have natural desires that need quenching and we can all benefit from being more understanding of human behaviour during our short stay on Earth. Another aspect of this album that really stands out is that Robyn’s music and persona have always been robotic yet humanlike, and with ‘Honey’ she is at her most organic, pure, and raw form. Robyn is expressing her vulnerability, with more reflection on her interactions and how it affects her and those around her.
With the title track, it’s almost the antithesis of her incomparable hit ‘Dancing On My Own’. The Robyn in ‘Dancing On My Own’ is a heartbroken, lonely woman longing for someone who can’t care enough to see her standing alone at the club. The Robyn in ‘Honey (song)’ is in total control of her destiny. She is confident, no holds barred, and ready for whatever the future has in store for her. “Come get this honey,” she says authoritatively. She’s no longer that sad little bird in the corner, she’s ready to take what’s hers and give what she’s got. “No you’re not gonna get what you need, but baby I have what you want.”
Other standout tracks such as ‘Ever Again’ and ‘Because It’s In The Music’ offer up deeper glam disco beats, tinged with a gorgeous array of string instruments. Collectively, you can feel the pain and heartache Robyn has experienced in the 8 years since ‘Body Talk’ was released, but there’s endless strength and confidence throughout these subdued tracks. “Never gonna be broken hearted ever again (that shit’s out the door)” swirls in and out of the speakers from left to right sinking deep into your mind that pain is what you make it. Recovery is in our own hands and the choice is either to wallow or to move onward. There is enough strength inside us all to discover our own sticky, sweet honey and exude the same unstoppable assuredness that Robyn is showcasing on this triumphant record.
From beginning to end, this album is one complete thought with a clear message. Through pain, sadness, and heartbreak we have the capability to use these negativities to our advantages. Pain makes us stronger, and Robyn is the vessel voicing that to the listener. She found her honey, and she is here to offer her voice to help everyone find their own. Robyn offers up hope during these scary and uncertain times that we can steer our lives towards the light, towards the honey we all deserve.