Robyn plans quick turnaround for next albums

Swedish pop goddess is at Rams Head Live Tuesday

January 27, 2011|By Erik Maza, The Baltimore Sun

The Nobel Peace Prize concert is not the first place you'd think of for a show by Robyn, Swedish pop goddess.

Especially not last year's. It was a serious event with serious artists to honor a serious man, incarcerated Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Elvis Costello was there, Denzel Washington presented, and Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden were in attendance.

Most performers would be fazed by that kind of crowd, but not Robyn, who performs Tuesday at Rams Head Live.

She tore through three songs of her widely popular "Body Talk" trilogy without breaking a sweat, and three days later she was headlining a string of her own shows in Stockholm.

In a nutshell, that's Robyn's appeal: upbeat even in grim circumstances, equally adept at serenading a political dissident one day and a stadium of dancing fans days later.

It's a dichotomy that extends to her music. "Dancing on My Own" is defiant and evocative, a propulsive dance anthem that is also loaded with feeling.

Despite a recording career that started in the early '90s, Robyn's made an impression in the United States only recently, with "Body Talk." That's partially because she took an unconventional route to release it: on her own label and in pieces, with each album of the trilogy containing just eight songs.

It was "a more natural process of writing and producing," she said.

"It looked like something I planned or was smart about, but I just wanted to try something new."

She also said dance music has been earning the respect here it already had in Europe, thanks to people like Rihanna and the return of music festivals.

"In Europe, dance music has always been thought of as forward-thinking music, almost like punk," she said. "It's taken some time for that culture to seep into America."

In a sign that she has penetrated the mainstream, last year she was asked to perform on teen soap "Gossip Girl."

In a bit of news, Robyn said she plans quick turnarounds for her "Body Talk" follow-ups.

"The plan is to keep going with these shorter albums and to have something out sooner than before."

— Erik Maza

If you go

Robyn performs Tuesday at Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets, $25, are sold via tickets.ramsheadlive.com or by calling 410-244-1131

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