By Zach Zaczmarek
Adaptability and longevity are essential to remaining staple in pop, regardless of the sub-genre, and no one in the past decade has embodied those traits than perhaps the veteran Swedish songstress Robyn. Still riding the momentum from Do It Again, 2014’s much lauded club ready EP with Royksopp, Robyn has wasted no time in delivering her disco-fueled, Love is Free EP with the help of La Bagatelle Magique, which has revealed yet another vein in dance music which her bright, energized vocals can thrive.
Compared to the claustrophobic and slow burning, electronic progression of Do It Again, Love is Free slowly unfurls in a warm embrace of percussion and synthesizers swirling around in a very impromptu fashion. “Lose Control” opens the EP with bright synth-pop loops and drum machines that fall into place as Robyn fills the role of an uninhibited bearer of love, repeating empowering mantras like “You don’t like what you can’t control”. Imagery comes to mind of Robyn wielding a flag for all that cannot be contained, ultimately setting a stage for the discotheque revolution that echoes throughout the rest of the EP.
The self-titled track steps back in time by wrapping itself in a chaotic veil of 90s dance beats and hard thumping bass which form quite a hypnotic assault on the ears. With ease, Robyn glides along in her typical swift rap delivery, as she catapults to mood beyond the cliché 90s homage into funky electro territory. Keeping up with the retro themes of decades past, “Got to Work It Out” utilizes layers of robotic vocoders and draws heavily on the 80s pop influences that Robyn has been known to channel.
In general, the EP has a plethora of moving parts, and never makes itself out to be a platform for Robyn, but rather a place of experimentation for disco, classic dance sounds, and her signature electro-pop to all culminate as one sound. Although it’s difficult to say that Love is Free, or even her previous mini album with Royksopp, can fill the void the way a much anticipated full length from Robyn could, it provides a clear window into one of music’s most diverse talents and alludes to what she has in store for the masses.