Thursday, July 22, 2010

Song Break: "Don't Call It a Remix" Edition

The not very old is new again. Robyn's "Hang With Me," the first single to her next album, Body Talk, Pt. 2, has already been released as an acoustic track on her most recent (and still new) album, Body Talk, Pt. 1. It's the rare occasion where two approaches to the same song both succeed for different reasons. The acoustic version, with Robyn's gorgeous vocal accompanied by a quiet piano and a stirring string arrangement, is steeped in longing. The dance track, avoiding the whiff of mere remix, is confrontational: a taunt rather than a plead, all thanks to the miraculous power of a drumbeat.

The re-release of an album track as the lead single to a new album is a daring and audacious move on Robyn's part. That the new version nearly wipes away all memory of the other, while also strengthening the latter's wallop, only further proves Robyn's genius as an artist for whom the notion of "serious" pop music is no contradiction.

[Both versions are presented below.]