She never left completely, though. She’s always sort of been here, collaborating with acts like Norwegian electro-pop gods Röyksopp, Neneh Cherry, Kindness and Mr. Tophat, creating experimental mini-bands (La Bagatelle Magique) and hitting the summer festival circuit to sweat it out on stage to the sound of 8-minute extended dub mixes of her classic hits.
But as far as the Robyn that The People Want – Body Talk Robyn, “Dancing On My Own” Robyn, Pop Robyn, then, yeah…she’s been missing for a while now.
And “Missing U” too, apparently.
“Missing U” is the Swedish Queen of Pop’s first solo release since 2011’s “Call Your Girlfriend,” more or less. And while the musical landscape has drastically changed in the years since, Robyn, apparently, has not.
With her first new song in nearly a decade, Robyn’s soothing her (very) patient fans with a familiar sound: “Missing U” could certainly be a Body Talk track – it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if it were pulled from those sessions, actually.
Produced alongside longtime collaborator Klas Åhlund, plus newer collaborator Joseph Mount of Metronomy, the sad disco stomper slides in effortlessly between all the modern classics from those sessions: “Dancing On My Own,” “Indestructible,” “Call Your Girlfriend,” “Hang With Me” – and even earlier, back to her shimmering standout collaboration with Kleerup, “With Every Heartbeat.”
“‘Missing U’ is a song about this trippy thing that happens when people disappear, it’s like they become even more clear and you see them everywhere,” Robyn explains of the track.
The wistful, “Be Mine”-twenty-years-later lyricism provides the quintessential tears-on-the-dance-floor Robyn experience: “There’s this empty space you left behind / Now you’re not here with me / I keep digging through a waste of time / But the picture’s incomplete / ‘Cause I’m missing you / I miss you…”
This is undeniably, unmistakably A Robyn Song – if, perhaps, a little too by-the-numbers Robyn. (I wouldn’t say that it provides the complete dance floor catharsis of the Body Talk singles, unfortunately.)
But in a mostly chorus-free, beat drop, anonymous trap-trop-pop climate, at a time when the State Of Pop remains in critical condition, there’s no need to overly nitpick. “Missing U” doesn’t represent much of an evolution. That’s fine. It’s a reminder. And based on the teasers leading up the song’s release, that’s exactly what the song was intended to do: “A message to my fans, that I’ve missed them,” she declared.
She’s the one that we ever needed, so show her love and what it’s all about.
Welcome back, Robyn.
“Missing U” was released on August 1. (iTunes)
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Photo credit: Mark Peckmezian