31 Robyn: Honey

I freaking love ‘Honey’. I just thought it important to let you know before I complain about it for 693 words.


(*I intentionally left that number blank until I’d written the piece. 552 words: boom! Unfortunately, I then had to write this completely superfluous parenthesised section here, so I had to then check the new word count and log that in. 590. However, I then chose to write this little extra bit on the end, which further enlarged the word count. I just wanted you to let you in on the artistic process. It’s fucking exhausting, isn’t it? Then I remembered I wanted to write a ‘past glories’ bit. Then I had to write about that bit here. Had to)

I love pop music. I think it’s humanity’s greatest achievement, artistic or otherwise. Pop music can ignite passions and inspirations among humans – among groups of humans-  like nothing else. I’ve read many great books (Four. No, three, one of them was more of a DVD player instruction pamphlet), seen many gorgeous paintings (Four. No, three, one of them was more of a DVD player instruction pamphlet) and had sex with many beautiful people (Four. No, three, one of them was more of a DVD player instruction pamphlet), but nothing can touch the feeling when the bass drum kicks in Human Being.


Alright, I might give you sex, but only because that involves the contribution of another person and that feeling of sharing an intimate experience with somebody and of being unarguably loved by another human for at least three and a half minutes (we’re counting foreplay, right?) doesn’t stand much of a chance of being beaten by any singular activity. On the other hand, listening to a pop song you really don’t like, no matter how intently, is unlikely to have you absolutely hating yourself and questioning your life choices the next morning. I hate, hate, hate American Pie by any artist self-loathing enough to take a swing at it, but even after hearing Madonna’s version I don’t immediately loathe what my life’s come to, spend the morning sitting in the shower crying and then phone my Mum telling her how sorry I am and promise to do better while she struggles to understand what I’m saying through my anguished barks. Yet that’s how literally every one of my sexual partners reacts the next day. Anyway, a study by the North Seville Institute of Dermatology found that 78% of all sexual trysts start with shared affinity with a pop song, so it’s clear that ‘pop songs’ and ‘sex’ are too closely linked to be considered separate pleasures.

Oh, don’t give me any of your ‘I don’t like pop, I like [SCROTE]’ bullsheeeeeeeet! The thing you like most about [SCROTE] is the most poppy part! The tunefulness, the irresistible rhythm, the beats that shake your colon loose, the beauty that pricks up your heart valves, the stylised passion, the passionate style, your ability to remember how it goes, the fact that the song generally finishes before the grandchildren of most of the people listening to it aren’t dead yet- these are all pop traits. Aside from excessive anomalies, almost every genre of music commercially available since around the cease of World War 2 hostilities has just been different takes on pop music.

Robyn has long been the darling of the pop music tourists, those that buy one pop album a year because of a Guardian Weekend magazine cover piece and imagine that it represents the last word on the art form. It represents the only widely accepted form of pop music, that which peddles in clubbish reinterpretations of Abba wrapped up in a distinctly 1980s packaging.

Of course, this doesn’t take away from the spectacular achievement of ‘Honey’ itself, but where’s the love for 2018’s other pop highlights like… erm…



With Every Heartbeat (with Kleerup)

While Dancing On My Own seems to have been overwhelmingly accepted as her artistic high point, this arrestingly gorgeously 2007 hit is absolutely her greatest contribution to culture so far. Irregardless of whether they danced to it in Girls.


40 minutes

‘Honey’ is fabulous. There were far better pop albums released this year


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