Rules: We’re snooping on your playlist. Set your entire music library on shuffle and report the first 10 tracks that pop up! Then choose 10 additional friends.
1) Pj Harvey - sheela na gig
2) The misfits - dig up her bones
3) Hole - old age
4) smashing pumpkins - we only come out at night
5) neutral milk hotel - song against sex
6) kong - blood of a dove
7) Jesus lizard - mailman
8) Depeche Mode - enjoy the silence
9) AFI - Days of the Phoenix (tee hee!)
10) Robyn - Dancehall queen
Her early work was a little too Bubblegum Pop for my taste, but when Robyn came out in ‘05 I think she really came into her own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. Robyn’s been compared to Katy Perry, but I think Robyn has a far more bitter, cynical music style.
In ‘10, Robyn released this, Body Talk, her most accomplished album. I think her undisputed masterpiece is “Dancehall Queen”, a song so catchy, most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it’s not just about the pleasures of dancing, and the importance of having a night to yourself, it’s also a personal statement of Robyn’s self-confidence.
"Like a Man” was a little inevitable for the top choice here, but this song is brilliant apart from being the perfect DQs mission statement. Spice lampooning a typical male performer’s “whine fe mi, gyal” track, while also delivering a peerless example of same was a perfect having-cake-and-eating-it moment. Meanwhile, “So Mi Like It” is 156 seconds of Spice giving a master class on riding a (fantastic) riddim. “Back Bend” and “Snake Charmer” could be here too – it was her year.
At the beginning of the year, I figured J Capri would top this list, but nothing has quite risen to the level of the scorching “Reverse It” since it dropped in February. I wanted more from her, but there’s no need to feel disappointed (especially when you include her Vybz Kartel feature “Mamacita”). “Lyrics to the Song” won’t have you blasting your airhorn, but I always have room in my heart for dancehall that manages effervescence.
Denyque seems to be perpetually bubbling just under the surface of breaking out. I do think she could be a genuine pop star, but in the meantime at least we have the occasional treat like this laid-back party jam that sounds especially nice now in frigid winter.