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Jan 09, 2020

2010s, BEST OF THE DECADE.

Do you think that ten years go a long way? Does anyone doubt it? I say: Yes. We are going to do a quick review: we enter this decade in the middle of the dance era. It seemed that the music was ready to give us a sigh at the difficult economic situation that society was experiencing, so it sent us directly to the dance floor. Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, etc. joined forces with DJs such as Calvin Harris or David Guetta, while the great Adele oasis appeared. Leaving aside the R&B, which experienced a great period of drought, dance began to flirt with different styles of music such as pop, country or hip-hop, which was the most benefited. And, naturally, like the same evolution, this last genre, along with rap, was gaining strength, to take over the following years. The music divas left their heels in the discos to put on large gold chains and approach the slums. Among all, Miley Cyrus seemed to rise with the throne to the most disembodied. But, following the power of this genre, something began to resurface slowly, but without pause: a new wave of young talents opted for the R&B of yesteryear given the pull of hip-hop and rap. This genre, gained strength, living a slight golden age that lasts until today. But it was not only that, given the lack of novelty given by repeated bases offered by dance and hip-hop, experimentation was the order of the day. The great artists decided to redeem themselves: Rihanna launched Anti, fleeing from anything she had done so far and offering her most personal work. Following her example (or Beyoncé's with 4, as you can see), many others did, relating “personal” with “country” (#choices), giving this genre a huge role in the second half of the decade. This search for the “new me” by the female singers, accompanied by some albums that surprised how Selena Gomez's Revival offered a great movement that has flourished beautifully: the anti-pop princess. A movement that has supported the diversity of sounds, aspects and formulas and given many the power to believe in their point of view. All this has helped that in recent years we have experienced an evolution of the genres: dominated by pop and Latin, all have been molded according to the vision of each artist, adding nuances that make a genre not only that genre, is something plus. Giving wealth to the world of music. And it seems that this is not going to stop. Now more than ever technologies help to consume music in a dizzying way, so much so that it is difficult to keep track of everything that is released. It is much easier for novel artists to release their music and there will be a gap. This is why the era of legends is slowly coming to an end. It is increasingly difficult to stand out given the large number of artists willing to contribute their grain of sand. And is that ... how many songs have been released during these 10 years? How many artists have emerged? Would you be able to stay with just one song of the decade? We have lost count, but what we are sure of is without them the world would have been a worse place. Here goes our top200 of the decade.

Written by @FerSP from Fernando Sempere
Jun 08, 2019

Major Changes in Robyn’s Personal Relationships Become Fodder for Her Latest Album

In a way, artists are quite lucky because they can use the pain they feel when their relationships fail into material for their work – and since millions of people can relate to heartbreak and broken relationships, these songs often become big hits for these artists (think Taylor Swift and the band The Script), and some of them even get luckier by winning awards for it (think, Adele and Sam Smith, and their Grammy winning albums). Of course, we wouldn’t wish ill in the relationships of any of our favorite artists, but such is life. Through its course, there are bound to be heartaches and pain along the way. I will hazard a strong guess that Robyn just came out of a failed relationship because it is plastered all over her latest album, Honey. There is no escaping it, and although there are other songs with other themes in the album, the tight nine song collection is reeking with sadness and pain. The music too has changed. This is not the Robyn of 2010’s Body Talk series of mini-albums. While I was listening to it, it was like lounge music that you hear when you are at a bar in a tropical resort – unobtrusive, classy, still danceable, but not in the wild ways you can with her other hits. This was kind of subdued dance music, where you can just sway smoothly while sipping that mojito. The whole sound gives you a more relaxed yet still upbeat atmosphere but it is when you listen closely to the lyrics, you’ll understand why Robyn toned it down a few notches in her latest opus.

Written by @tonyfabelous from Fabelousity
May 31, 2019

Robyn’s Dance Hits From This Album Became Staples of Dance Clubs Worldwide – Asia Included

Robyn’s self-titled album is a major turning point in the career of the Swedish chanteuse. It’s the first release from her own record label Konichiwa Records and points to the real direction she wanted to take for her career to prosper. If she chose to stay in her old record company, we wouldn’t even be sure if Robyn would still be around, as is the case of most artists who are controlled too much by their record companies. They lose their motivation to perform and just quit the business. This turning point is not unusual to Robyn and comes to every artist’s life and when they feel that the direction their record company and the direction that they want to personally go to are different, then maybe parting ways would be the best thing to do. I believe this was a risky move for her because like any paths we choose to take – it could’ve gone either way. We might have lost Robyn forever or the more fortunate turn of events – still having Robyn producing great dance music then, and up to the present day. Auspiciously, her fans have continued to support her songs even after she left her record company and good thing is she came up with really strong inventive dance beats that continued to improve her brand as a credible and reliable dance artist. All these are exhibited in this self-titled album of hers. I say reliable because although fans won’t mind if their favorite artist experiments once in a while, they do need to hear a bit of the old stuff as well in the new stuff – just to ensure some sort of continuity. Robyn does that deftly in this album, with hits that became staples in dance clubs all over Europe and around the world. Even here in our part of Asia, some of Robyn’s songs from this album were being played in our local dance clubs at that time, and were choreographed by dance instructors in the hip hop and retro pop dance classes around Manila. I strongly feel that allowing Robyn to chart her own musical path has been providential to both the artist and her fans. And I’m really glad she decided that way because although this is not really my most favorite album of hers, she went on to produce even more original and innovative work in the future. For now, her subsequent compilation album, Body Talk is for the moment, my most favorite work of hers – and in my opinion, the strongest and most fascinating artistically.

Written by @tonyfabelous from Fabelousity
May 24, 2019

The Body Talk Series of Mini-Albums Unleashes the Dance Prowess of Robyn

Frankly, I did not expect the girl who sang and came out in the US hits Do You Know (What It Takes) and Show Me Love (both peaked at #7) would be able to build a music career and earn the respect of her dance peers for almost 23 years. I first encountered Robyn in 1997 because of those hits. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to follow up her career because back in those days, we didn’t have the Internet to instantly inform us of our favorite artists’ new releases. Since Robyn was not American but Swedish, information about her work was slow to filter to our side of Asia. I really thought she disappeared and I was very surprised to hear that she got a Grammy nomination for her song “Call Your Girlfriend” which is in this album I am reviewing. The song is undeniably great and she deserved that nomination. To follow up on that information, I decided to give a listen to the album Body Talk, which contained that song, hoping to uncover more danceable tunes from her. Body Talk is actually a composite of three mini-albums, Body Talk Pt. 1, Body Talk Pt. 2, and Body Talk Pt. 3. She decided to choose the best songs among the three albums and release a full album entitled Body Talk. I don’t know if she had to do this just so she can edit her work, because all three mini-albums were released within one calendar year, which is an impressive output for any artist. Nevertheless, Body Talk is one of the most impressive dance albums I have listened to, arguably one of the best ever made in this category. She came up with a great concept and used different dance beats to showcase her sound. Although the overall feel is futuristic – the album is not cold and distant. It is in fact capable of touching our feelings and igniting the irony of our actions, especially in that clever song “Call Your Girlfriend” There are songs here which are so original in concept and so witty in lyrical content that it blew me away the first time I listened to them. It is a gem of an album and I’m glad I didn’t come too late to her party.

Written by @tonyfabelous from Fabelousity

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