This is far from Robyn and Röyksopp’s first go-round. The Swedish pop star and Norwegian electronic duo teamed up before, most memorably on Robyn’s “None of Dem.” Do It Again marks the team’s most dramatic collaboration, a fully-realized “mini-album” that is only five songs long but still manages to span 35 minutes. The five songs are a careful balancing act of the artists’ different but complementary qualities.
“Monument,” the opening track, is probably the track with the most clear cross-section of the artists’ dueling talents. It’s a nearly ten-minute song that features Robyn’s signature vocals over an electronic backdrop that features Röyksopp at its most serious. Although the song is meant as something of a slow burn ‒ nearly a mini-album unto itself ‒ it feels about twice as long as it should be and only really gets interesting at its percussive finale. “Sayit” is similarly unsatisfying. Although it seems Röyksopp go in their more comfortable, playful direction, the song itself goes a little over the top with the vocoder and never turns into the loose dance song it seems to want to be.
Then, finally, comes the true centerpiece of the album. “Do It Again” is nearly everything a dance song should be. It’s fun, sexy, deceptively simple and, in this case, features everything these talented artists have to offer. It’s a lovely track and deserves its place on dance floors this summer.
In fact the entire second half of this album is triumphant. “Everything Little Thing” is in the mold of “Do It Again.” It’s shorter than everything around it and hearkens to early-mid-2000s dance music. It’s a bit more of a ballad and is a good remix away from bringing the house down. The album closes with the 9-minute “Inside the Idle Hour Club.” This sprawling track is airy and ethereal and a fitting comedown from the ten minutes of excitement that preceded it. It feels slightly out of place and could certainly use some of Robyn’s vocals, but it’s a worthy closing track.
“Do It Again” makes much of this worth it. While a lot of this mini-album feels like unfulfilled promise, one can take solace in the fact that it gave us one of the better singles of the year. I look forward to more dance collaboration between these three.