Swedish pop star Robyn released three new albums in 2010, effectively kicking down the door to the U.S. music market. The “Body Talk” series has received general acclaim from critics, but “Body Talk Pt. 1” and its correlating single, “Dancing On My Own” have been the highlight of Robyn’s year.
Robyn bounces between different moods during the course of the three albums, so it is interesting that the saddest song in the series would become its biggest hit.
The song is one of hopeless yearning for someone that is already taken, and the heartache of being forced to watch the rival win out at the club.
Part of the reason the song got huge is likely that the music doesn’t mirror the vocalist’s attitude.
Robyn and the song’s co-writer, Patrik Berger, take dual credit for producing the beat for the song. It opens with a rapid synthesizer line and is joined by a simple drum machine fill to create a worthy club-going track. It’s not upbeat enough to be an all-out rave, but it keeps the mood lifted enough that the depressing lyrical content won’t scare away listeners at a party.
The lyrics aren’t entirely depressing, however. Robyn comes to grips with her loss in a way and decides that the best thing to do is just dance the pain away. It follows themes similar to many Lady Gaga tracks, but makes the feeling more relatable to the listener by toning down the grandiosity.
The Guardian ranked “Dancing On My Own” the best song of 2010 and Pitchfork ranked it fourth best for the year. The track is nominated for Best Dance Recording at the Grammy Awards.
Robyn laments during the song, “I’m over here, why can’t you see me?” If only her desired could see her now.