Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Robyn 'Be Mine!'

Chart Peak: 10


There have been a few remarkable comebacks in pop in the last few years, but perhaps the most unexpectedly successful of 2007 was Robyn, the Swedish singer mainly remembered for her 1998 hit 'Show Me Love' (and even that arguably mostly because people were trying not get it mixed of with 'Show Me Love' by Robin S.) and had been absent from the UK chart for nearly a decade when 'With Every Heartbeat' was suddenly declared the hottest thing in the world. If I was reluctant to be carried away by the fuss surrounding that, or the underwhelming follow-up 'Handle Me', she turned out to have one more gem up her sleeve here; it had originally been a hit in her homeland as early as 2005.

Even so, it was a song it took me a while to like for some reason. Which is odd, because it's not an obviously uncommercial record: I think what's most unusual about it is the rather empty sound in the arrangement, when at times you can almost hear the empty space between the strings and the sythesisers. Gradually it dawned on me that this is actually a great strength, because it dramatically represents the emptiness the protagonist feels and refers to in the lyric. Despite the exclamation mark, the title isn't an imperative but the end of the sentence "You never were, and you never will be mine!" and that's just one of the neat little tricks she pulls here. Even the much-neglected art of the spoken section is successfully revived, and not even in her first language.

The bad news? She looks slightly too much like my granny in parts of the video.

Also appearing on: Now 68 (with Kleerup), 71 (with Christian Falk)
Available on: Robyn

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