■ PJ00s+ Fifty-Seven. ■ Top Ten Albums. ■ Coronated. ■



Album of the decade



by Marc Hogan
for Pitchfork

"Fembots have feelings, too." When we first heard Robyn sing those words, on a single promoting what would become a three-volume set of mini-LPs all bearing the name Body Talk, it was easy to focus on the Swedish pop singer's quirky sense of humor. But on this new full-length edition, "Fembot" also reveals itself as a compelling statement of purpose. Playing off contemporary pop's age-old diva-as-robot trope and cautioning that fellow droids who "burn out" are "ready for demolition," Robyn is a pop star who first and foremost projects a need for emotional connection.


If that's Robyn's artistic credo, then Body Talk is living, breathing, cybernetic proof. Melding dancehall with bubblegum pop, heartbroken love songs with hilariously catty weirdness, and euphorically catchy melodies with propulsive rhythms, Body Talk-- which combines the five-song Body Talk Pt. 3 with, outside of Pt. 1's uncommonly wise "Cry When You Get Older", the highlights from the first two mini-albums-- is a deeply affecting pop record.
Robyn may not have released three full albums this year as first implied, but her first true full-length in five years is one of the year's best.
What sets Robyn apart from her contemporaries is the three-dimensional complexity of her character, and all sides are on display here.
There's plenty of don't-fuck-with-me attitude in the icy electro-throb of "Don't Fucking Tell Me What to Do", which introduces a shit-talking heroine who may be flawed but won't be anyone's pawn.


And with production by Diplo, the mock-outrageous Jamaica homage "Dancehall Queen" proves she's not kidding. But she's also sensitive enough that, during one of Body Talk's most inspired moments-- the soaringly tuneful electro-pop ballad "Call Your Girlfriend"-- she tells her boyfriend exactly how to break it off with the other woman to inflict the least emotional damage.
However, the highlight from this Year of Robyn remains the gorgeous "Dancing on My Own". What's especially remarkable is that there was any room for improvement: The track appears here as an amped-up "radio remix" with bonus synths giving the lovelorn chorus an extra wallop.
But then again, Robyn is a master of re-invention: "Indestructible" and "Hang With Me" were first released as emotive acoustic ballads, and later given revved-up Eurodisco overhauls that ramped up the intensity without sacrificing an ounce of their bittersweet charm.


Those are the versions included here, and both lend further ammunition to Body Talk's already military-grade stockpile.
Robyn's willingness to experiment with album conventions may feel like an ingenious gimmick, but there's no artifice to the desire for human connection that underlies her vocal quiver and party-starting kickdrums. She communicates heartbreak so convincingly that some of her most devoted fans actually wonder online about her presumed loneliness. She also attacks the charts from the fringes. She explores the fringes from the charts. She should be universal. So why isn't she? With Body Talk, Robyn ups the ante for pop stars across the radio dial and raises her own chances of appearing on yours. And for all her three-album talk, she never forgets that cardinal rule of showmanship: Always leave them wanting more.

The official PJ00s 57 participant has been updated.
After a mammoth tag spree of 105 Popjustice members some have withdrawn, some have committed and some have gone AWOL.
If you have passed final veto you'll hear nothing, if one of your songs has been vetoed I'll let you know.
Stay tuned for the songlist at (my) midnight.

Song List.


Spotify Playlist.

Jenn D - You Keep Giving Me Love

(Please be aware of greyed out and region blocked songs.)

YouTube Playlist.


PM List.

Krewella - Enjoy The Ride
Black Kids - Partie Traumatic
K. Michelle - Can’t Raise A Man
Hayley Westenra - Summer Rain
Brooklyn Bounce - Club Bizarre
Passion Pit - Carried Away
Jamie Woon - Night Air
The Pierces - Kings
Ninja - Hush Hush
Delphic - Halcyon
Ultrabeat - Elysium
Seinabo Sey - Hard Time
Cherish ft. Yung Joc - Killa
R5 - Heart Made Up On You
Paola & Chiara - Senza Confine
+44 - When Your Heart Stops Beating
Amuka ft. Sheila Brody - Appreciate Me
Harper Simon - Wishes And Stars
The Noisettes - Saturday Night
Caro Emerald - Liquid Lunch
Oceanlab - If I Could Fly
Melanie Fiona - 4 AM
T-Squad - Vertical
Frida Sundemo - Home
Teairra Marí - No Daddy
Dirty Loops - Sayonara Love
The Civil Wars - Poison & Wine
The Indelicates - We Hate The Kids
Schiller ft. Moya Brennan - Miles And Miles
Starsailor - Four To The Floor (Thin White Duke Remix)
Within Temptation ft. Tarja - Paradise (What About Us?)
Belle And Sebastian - I Didn't See It Coming (Richard X Remix)
Beauty's Confusion ft. Michael W. Dean - Whirlwind
Lupe Fiasco ft. Jonah Matranga - The Instrumental
Morcheeba - Rome Wasn't Built In A Day
Ren Harvieu - Open Up Your Arms
Jenn D - You Keep Giving Me Love



Please vote via PM to myself @Untouchable Ace
by 11.59pm Tuesday June Twentieth.

(Deadline subject to change later as the submission period was extended.)

Reveals to be held
Thursday June Twenty-Second.



by @phoenix123
for Popjustice

For fear of offending Prince fans this is simply the best double concept album I have ever heard. At 25 tracks long one would expect a few duffers and a fair few fillers. Why not trim it down to a manageable 15 track single album at least? Well I've tried and always feel I'm leaving something essential out. That quirky track, the one about his dad, that batshit crazy one, that one with the great video, one of the singles (which weren't even the strongest tracks)! Which do I leave off? No keep it a double album. It has a loose theme of space and time travel, then there's a lot of loss and rebirth, bitterness and hope. This is the sound of a commercial pop artist letting go and just doing what the fuck he wants finally. I imagine this was rather cathartic. It feels like his Like A Prayer and Sign O The Times rolled into one. So self indulgent was this project there were videos made for the majority of tracks (by his future husband) which ultimately became This Delicate Film We've Made and various deluxe offerings of the album (all of which I bought obvs), one even including 3D videos and glasses.


Aside from the music, I love the aesthetic for the album and single artworks. I do wish more of the videos featured Darren himself (like Annie's Diva) and the video for Casey was a disappointment for me also but that's likely a result of the limited budget which comes from not compromising for big label money. How can you grumble with all this top notch music? This album is so lyrically rich, Darren has an amazing way of turning a killer phrase.
Was he already out by this point or did he come out with this album? I can't remember but this album runs the gamut of emotions and covers all bases. It's like someone's crammed their entire pop career into one album. Fear, hope, loss, longing, regret, sexuality, religion, politics and lots of reminiscing (who is Troy Clifford?) and I do love it when my pop stars get so personal.


Every track is a gem but standouts are Who Would Have Thought, How To Build A Time Machine, Listen All You People (which sounds like a gay anthem written for Cher), Bombs Up In My Face (more Prince influence), The Future Holds A Lion's Heart, On The Verge Of Something (a deserved UK hit), Words (such an evocative song about communication, a theme he later revisited with Talk Talk Talk).
So onto my picks. Well the standout obvious killer single the moment I heard it was Casey. Alas it got a limited delayed release with a cute but unsatisfying video (in an disappointingly edited form). It's still the best thing here and amongst all the wonderful angst and melancholy on this album this is one of his most uplifting offerings of his career (and he has plenty of bops). I don't like the video edit because it leaves off the climatic "I'm gonna, I wanna, I'M GONNA BE SOMEONE…. running through the sky like a satellite, a radio wave, a meteorite, a meteorite, a meteorite……." (the extended outro reminds me a bit of George Michael's excellent Precious Box).


My pick for most accessible song from the album is The Tuning Of Violins, the very last track is a wistful uplifting pop love letter to his life in London with his husband. It seems fitting to end the album in the present.
The most under-rated track would be Maybe. I totally overlooked this initially but after getting the DVD and seeing the video it fast became one of my favourites. Who doesn't look up to the stars once in their life and thinks about someone they lost and where they are now? A better place? Joining the endless universe? Maybe. I love that the structure of the verses and final chorus are all slightly different "The game is no fun when you're winning." He does melancholy so well.