Honey (Robyn album)

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Honey
RobynHoney.png
Studio album by
Released26 October 2018 (2018-10-26)
Studio
  • Apmamman, Stockholm
  • Shelter, Paris
  • Pigalle, Paris
  • Strongrooms, London
  • Futur De l'Audiovisuel, Paris
  • Konichiwa, Stockholm
  • 123, Peckham
  • Tophat, Stockholm
  • Houses in Los Angeles and Ibiza
Genre
Length40:23
Label
Producer
Robyn chronology
Love Is Free
(2015)
Honey
(2018)
Singles from Honey
  1. "Missing U"
    Released: 1 August 2018
  2. "Honey"
    Released: 26 September 2018
  3. "Send to Robin Immediately"
    Released: 15 February 2019
  4. "Between the Lines"
    Released: 3 April 2019
  5. "Ever Again"
    Released: 17 June 2019

Honey is the eighth studio album by Swedish singer Robyn, and her first since Body Talk (2010).[3] It was released on 26 October 2018 through Konichiwa, Island Records and Interscope Records.[3] It features the singles "Missing U", "Honey" (a version of which originally featured in the final season of the HBO series Girls in 2017),[4] and "Send to Robin Immediately", which also served as part of the promotional campaign for the singer's clothing line collaboration with Björn Borg.[5][6]

The album features collaborations with Joseph Mount of Metronomy, Klas Åhlund, Adam Bainbridge, Mr. Tophat, and Zhala.[3] It has been called a "significant departure from the hooky, sparkling electro-pop" of the Body Talk series of albums.[7]

Background, writing and recording[edit]

Robyn began work on the album in 2015 following the death of close friend and collaborator Christian Falk and the breakup of a relationship.[7] Early on, she reached out to Joseph Mount of Metronomy, and they kept collaborating beyond the expected one-off session.[7] Mount said he had to adjust to Robyn's "emotional transparency" while writing, understanding over time that it is "integral to what she does".[7]

Robyn has stated that the album, recorded in part at studios in Stockholm, London, Paris, New York and Ibiza, features "much more production work on my end".[8] She also said the album represents "this sweet place, like a very soft ecstasy. [...] I danced a lot when I was making it. I found a sensuality and a softness that I don't think I was able to use in the same way before. Everything just became softer."[3] Robyn initially began working on the record alone, which she said allowed her to be more sensual.[9] The album was named for its "glowing, transcendent" title track, which The New York Times has called Robyn's "masterpiece".[7]

Robyn created the demo for "Missing U" in the summer 2014 on her laptop along with a LinnDrum machine and a software synth.[2] She noted that the lyrics for the song took 2 years to complete, before finishing them with producers Joseph Mount and Klas Åhlund.[2]

Music[edit]

Robyn became more involved in the production of Honey than she had been on her previous albums, including making beats herself.[7] This resulted in sounds including what The New York Times called "outré future pop" on the track "Human Being", "sensual throb" on "Baby Forgive Me" and "playful '90s house" on "Between the Lines".[7] The song "Send to Robin Immediately" samples the 1989 house track "French Kiss" by Lil Louis, which was the idea of English musician Adam Bainbridge, better known as Kindness.[7] Pitchfork writer Jason King notes the album is a "breathless, existential post-disco record".[2]

Promotion[edit]

Robyn announced she was working on a new album in February 2018 and teased new music throughout the year; she even appeared at one of the regular Robyn-themed dance events hosted at the Brooklyn Bowl, where she played "Honey" in full for the first time.[10] At the Red Bull Music Festival in New York in May 2018, Robyn stated: "With this album I've gone more back into the softer I get, the more it happens, and the more colors and dynamic a song gets. And for me, that meant shutting down for awhile and being sparse with my impressions and sensitive to what I needed."[8]

The album was officially announced by Robyn in a video message posted to her social media accounts in September 2018. She explained, "It's a personal album, and there are so many things that happened throughout making it that it's really hard for me to explain in one go. I think the best way is for you to listen to it."[9] On 24 September, Robyn revealed the track listing.[11] The full version of "Honey" was premiered by Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 on 26 September,[12] and was made available as a two-track single online the same day[13] along with the album becoming available to pre-order.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic89/100[15]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[16]
The Daily Telegraph5/5 stars[17]
The Guardian5/5 stars[18]
The Independent4/5 stars[19]
The Irish Times4/5 stars[1]
NME4/5 stars[20]
Pitchfork8.5/10[21]
Q4/5 stars[22]
Rolling Stone4.5/5 stars[23]
The Times4/5 stars[24]

On review aggregator Metacritic, Honey has received a score of 89 based on 22 reviews from critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[15] Stacey Anderson of Pitchfork rated the album 8.5 out of 10, giving it the distinction of "Best New Music", and called it an "enthralling record" that "carries the sheen of being created on purely individual terms, on a singular timeline". Anderson said that Honey "builds a bridge from its predecessor, the bionic Body Talk, into a place of new conviction and warmth", with Robyn presenting musical ideas "in a way that makes her resolutions feel both instinctive and deeply traveled; melodies and emotions resolve simultaneously, slowly, and imperfectly, without editorialized conclusions".[21] In the review for AllMusic, Heather Phares gave the album 4.5 stars out of 5, claiming "Robyn continues to make the trends instead of following them, and with Honey, she enters her forties with some of her most emotionally satisfying and musically innovative music."[16]

In a capsule review for Vice, Robert Christgau gave the album a three-star honourable mention ((3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)) and lamented "how I wish she was the pop sparkplug, club buddy, big sister, and strong lover of the glorious old Body Talk trilogy, but either she doesn't have the hooks anymore or she thinks she's beyond them"; "Missing U" and "Between the Lines" were cited as highlights.[25]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
BrooklynVegan 50 Best Albums of 2018 9 [26]
Exclaim! The Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums of 2018 2 [27]
Noisey The 100 Best Albums of 2018 6 [28]
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2018 4 [29]
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2018 45 [30]
Time The 10 Best Albums of 2018 6 [31]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Missing U"
  • Mount
  • Åhlund
  • Robyn[a]
4:57
2."Human Being" (featuring Zhala)
  • Robyn
  • Mount
Mount3:46
3."Because It's in the Music"
  • Robyn
  • Mount
  • Åhlund
  • Mount
  • Åhlund
4:34
4."Baby Forgive Me"
  • Robyn
  • Rudolf Nordström
  • Mount
  • Mr. Tophat
4:16
5."Send to Robin Immediately"Bainbridge3:59
6."Honey"
  • Robyn
  • Åhlund
  • Markus Jägerstedt
  • Mount
  • Åhlund
  • Robyn[a]
4:53
7."Between the Lines"
  • Robyn
  • Åhlund
  • Åhlund
  • Robyn[a]
4:05
8."Beach 2k20"
  • Robyn
  • Nordström
  • Mount
  • Åhlund
Mr. Tophat5:29
9."Ever Again"
  • Robyn
  • Mount
Mount4:24
Total length:40:23

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer.
  • Lyrics of "Missing U" partly inspired by "Arvet" by Bruno K Öijer.
  • "Send to Robin Immediately" contains a sample of "French Kiss" by Lil Louis.

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Honey.[32]

Charts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bruton, Louise (25 October 2018). "Robyn: Honey review – No bangers but loads of sad electro-pop gems". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d King, Jason. "Robyn Breaks Down Every Song on Her New Album, Honey". Pitchfork. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Minsker, Evan; Blais-Billie, Braudie (19 September 2018). "Robyn Announces New Album Honey". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  4. ^ Aswad, Jem (19 September 2018). "Robyn Finally Announces New Album, 'Honey'". Variety. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  5. ^ Megarry, Daniel (18 February 2019). "Robyn's New Video Send To Robin Immediately Features Same-Sex Love". Gay Times. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  6. ^ Kelleher, Patrick (18 February 2019). "Robyn's Music Video Send To Robin Immediately Features Same-Sex Lovers". Pink News. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Ganz, Caryn (21 September 2018). "How Robyn, Pop's Glittery Rebel, Danced Her Way Back From Darkness". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  8. ^ a b Lynch, Joe (19 September 2018). "Robyn (Finally) Reveals Release Date for New Album 'Honey'". Billboard. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  9. ^ a b Trendell, Andrew (19 September 2018). "Robyn announces details of 'Honey' – her first album in eight years". NME. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  10. ^ Spanos, Brittany (19 September 2018). "Robyn Announces Long-Anticipated Eighth Album 'Honey'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  11. ^ Minsker, Evan (24 September 2018). "Robyn Reveals New Album Honey's Tracklist". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  12. ^ Dommu, Rose (26 September 2018). "Rejoice! Robyn Will Finally Release Elusive Track 'Honey' Today". Out. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  13. ^ Sodomsky, Sam (26 September 2018). "Robyn Releases New Song 'Honey' (Finally): Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Honey by Robyn on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Honey by Robyn Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  16. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Honey – Robyn". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  17. ^ McCormick, Neil (26 October 2018). "Robyn, Honey, review: sweetness that comes from strength". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  18. ^ Petridis, Alexis (25 October 2018). "Robyn: Honey review – beautifully personal pop perfection". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  19. ^ Brown, Helen (25 October 2018). "Robyn, 'Honey' album review: The Swedish dance revolutionary's new record glows with bittersweet sensuality". The Independent. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  20. ^ Hunt, El (25 October 2018). "Robyn – 'Honey' album review". NME. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  21. ^ a b Anderson, Stacey (25 October 2018). "Robyn: Honey". Pitchfork. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  22. ^ Segal, Victoria (December 2018). "Sweet Spot". Q (392): 110.
  23. ^ Hermes, Will (25 October 2018). "Review: Robyn Lets the Grooves Take Over on the Excellent 'Honey'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  24. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (26 October 2018). "Pop review: Robyn: Honey". The Times. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  25. ^ Christgau, Robert (23 March 2019). "Robert Christgau on Ariana Grande's Garden of Sonic Delights". Vice. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  26. ^ "BrooklynVegan's Top 50 Albums of 2018". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  27. ^ "Exclaim!'s Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums, Part Two". Exclaim!. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  28. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of 2018". Noisey. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  29. ^ Mapes, Jillian (11 December 2018). "The 50 Best Albums of 2018". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  30. ^ "Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2018". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  31. ^ Bruner, Raisa (16 November 2018). "The 10 Best Albums of 2018". Time. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  32. ^ Honey (liner notes). Robyn. Konichiwa Records. 2018. KOR057CD.CS1 maint: others (link)
  33. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Robyn – Honey". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  34. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Robyn – Honey" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  35. ^ "Ultratop.be – Robyn – Honey" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  36. ^ "Ultratop.be – Robyn – Honey" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  37. ^ "Robyn Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  38. ^ "Hitlisten.NU – Album Top-40 Uge 44, 2018". Hitlisten. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  39. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Robyn – Honey" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  40. ^ "EESTI TIPP-40 MUUSIKAS: hevi tuleb ja proovib räppi tappa!" (in Estonian). Eesti Ekspress. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  41. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Téléchargés – SNEP (Week 44, 2018)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  42. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Robyn – Honey" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  43. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Robyn". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  44. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 44, 2018". VG-lista. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  45. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  46. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Robyn – Honey". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  47. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Robyn – Honey". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  48. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Robyn – Honey". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  49. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  50. ^ "Robyn Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  51. ^ "Robyn Chart History (Top Dance/Electronic Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  52. ^ "Årslista Album – År 2018" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 15 January 2019.