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Robyn: Body Talk (Konichiwa/Cherrytree) 

It's no coincidence that one of the first tracks on Body Talk is "Fembot," a song that comments on the recent vogue of pop starlets re-imagining themselves as cyborg provocateurs (see Gaga or Christina Aguilera's latest incarnation)—not by rejecting objectification (that'd be too easy), but by turning the whole metaphor on its head by overemphasizing it.

Robyn's humor is also the best of evidence of her smarts. "Once you go tech you ain't never goin' back," a robotic male voice intones on "Fembot," wherein Robyn inhabits the cyborg persona in order to boast about her subjectivity and her sexuality ("Initiating slut mode," she warns) in a way that Katy Perry would never think of doing. Where Perry would shove her cleavage in your face, Robyn would re-imagine the power of cleavage in the first place. Robyn doesn't judge Perry and her ilk; in fact, she's down to come to their party.

But Robyn's a bit of an outsider, with the melancholic core of one who understands heartbreak. On one of the album's standout tracks (there are many), "Call Your Girlfriend," Robyn inhabits a precarious spot: She's the other woman, but she wants her lover to break up with his girlfriend the right way. "Don't you even try and explain how it's so different when we kiss," she tells the philanderer; it's the wronged girlfriend's feelings who matter here.

Robyn is that rare pop artist who's got humanity, compassion, wit and killer beats. God bless her; she's made the best album of 2010.

Call Your Girlfriend by robyn

More by Sean Bottai

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