"U Should Know Better"
Released: 5 July 2013 (2013-07-05)
Body Talk is the seventh studio album by Swedish recording artist Robyn, released on 22 November 2010 by Konichiwa Records. Robyn first announced in early 2010 that she would release three mini-albums throughout the course of 2010, however, it was later announced that a full-length album would be released opposed to a third mini-album. The first two mini-albums of what was dubbed the Body Talk series, Body Talk Pt. 1 and Body Talk Pt. 2, were released in June and September 2010. The two albums saw two single releases, with Robyn citing that only one single would be released per mini-album.
The album acts as a compilation album, containing the "best songs" from the Body Talk series, as well as five new songs. The five new songs were also available separately as an EP, titled Body Talk Pt. 3, in certain territories. As of July 2013, the album has sold 93,000 copies in the United States.
"[...] It was never my goal to break some kind of a world record in how many songs I could release in a year. Although I think it would count as a pretty good attempt, it’s been about the process for me. It’s been very interesting to try and figure out a more organic way of making music. A way that is unbiased and has its starting point in what feels logical to me, but also to the listeners.
Even though it was never a conceptual idea, but a practical solution to the problem of getting bored with just doing one thing at a time, it has influenced not only the music, but all the visual content for the album as well. And the way I’ve communicated with press and listeners. [...]"
— Robyn explaining the concept of the Body Talk series
In an interview with Swedish magazine Bon, Robyn announced that she had plans to release three new albums in 2010. She said, "I got all these great songs so why not? [...] It's been 5 years since Robyn and I didn't want to wait with a release until they are all recorded, so I decided to start putting them out right away." Robyn told Popjustice journalist Peter Robinson, "It's been a long time since I actually made a record! And I was thinking of how to shorten that time down and Eric, my manager, came up with the idea of what if I just start releasing songs, then I can tour them, then I can make some more songs. We started working like that. I think once it starts it will make more sense – you can just keep releasing stuff without the long breaks." Robyn collaborated with Swedish producer Max Martin on the song "Time Machine". Martin was responsible for producing Robyn's US breakthrough hits "Do You Know (What It Takes)" and "Show Me Love", which both charted inside the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1996 and 1997. She said of the collaboration: "It was nostalgic to go back into the studio together. For me, it’s perfect timing – I’ve come full circle. It’s a way for me to show that I’m not trying to distance myself from where I come from. It’s still all about the songs."
Body Talk received acclaim from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 86, based on 19 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim". Music critic Jonathan Keefe from Slant Magazine awarded the album with four stars out of five, saying the album is "a testament to Robyn's truly forward-thinking take on contemporary pop music and to her rare ability to infuse chilly, futuristic soundscapes with genuine emotion and soul." Keefe also said that Body Talk "impresses for its thematic focus and laser-precise editing" and that the album is "one of the year's finest, most progressive pop albums". Genevieve Koski from The A.V. Club also felt that the album is "hands-down the best dance-pop album of the year." Koski said that the album "proves there’s still room for smart, mature songwriting and heartfelt performance in the high-gloss world of club music." The reviewer concluded her review by saying that "Over the course of Body Talk, Robyn has proved that there’s real emotion to be found among the ones and zeros of electronic music, and Pt. 3 is the culmination of that outlook: euphoric, personal, and inspirational to the last beat."
Entertainment Weekly music critic Leah Greenblatt gave the album an A grade. She said that "Spectacular Swedish import Robyn continues to languish in the cult-act remainder bin, but these 15 excellently curated tracks deserve to change that."Pitchfork Media rated the album with a score of 8.7/10, stamping it with its "Best New Music" label. Christian Hoard from Rolling Stone gave the album four stars (out of five). He said that "It all adds up to the best dance-pop album of 2010, 15 songs that are both immaculately catchy and packed with quirks". Jon Falcone from musicOMH awarded the album four and a half stars (out of five). Falcone said that Body Talk "shows just how easily she can churn out hits more frequently than labels can process production teams. Robyn deserves her success" stating that "it's impossible to think of a better pop communicator for our time."Allmusic music critic Heather Phares gave the album four stars (out of five). She said that "Releasing that much new music within six months was a feat in and of itself, but the fact that each part of Body Talk was so consistent made the whole project even more impressive." Phares said that the album's appeal "isn’t just experimental: by picking the best of the project’s songs, it feels like a greatest-hits collection and brand new album rolled into one."
On 20 October 2010, Robyn announced the details of Body Talk on her official website, along with the track listing and artwork. She described the album as the "turbo version of the Body Talk album", as it includes five songs from each previous Body Talk album along with five new songs. Her Myspace page provided a free streaming of the entire album before the release date.
Robyn announced the release of the single, "Indestructible", on 13 October 2010. An acoustic version appeared on her previous album, Body Talk Pt. 2. The song was released on 1 November 2010 in Scandinavia and one day later in the United States. It is co-written by Klas Åhlund, and has been described as a "pulsating full power version [that] takes every ounce of that emotion and wraps it up in another exceptional disco-pop record worthy of any dance-floor or passion-laden sing-a-long." The second single, "Call Your Girlfriend", was released on 1 April 2011.