Monday, April 6, 2009

Computer Love

Ok, time to write a second post, or else people will start to think that I don't understand what a blog is.

So Robyn appears on the new Röyksopp album, providing vocals for "The Girl and the Robot".

It occurred to me the other night that this song could form a strange pair with Goldfrapp's 2003 schaffel anthem, "Strict Machine". Both songs have roughly the same subject-matter: the tale of a woman who has fallen in love with something inhuman.

But whereas Alison Goldfrapp's lyrics are all about the tremendous ecstasy that comes of her relationship with this mechanical force - "wonderful electric", the frisson of this hymn to the strictness - Robyn sounds decidedly stressed by the whole situation:
I go mental every time you leave for work
You never seem to know when to stop
I never know when you'll return
I'm in love with a robot
A long way from "I get high on a buzz then a rush when I'm plugged in you".

You could put the two songs together to make a narrative. Goldfrapp - the pre-relationship crush, the mystery and delight of a mechanical, regimented entity that Alison Goldfrapp has seen on the art scene somewhere. But then, perhaps a few years down the track, after some kind of robot wedding, this initial point of attraction has become repellant, the excitement has turned to something sour, and our heroine finds that this robot in fact leaves her lonely. Queue Robyn and Röyksopp - the punctual tin man has no heart, only a single-minded and indomitable work ethic. She's so alooooooone.

1 comment:

  1. Hee hee hee. Cue shots of Robyn ironing the tin man's shirts, as she dreams of her Alison Goldfrapp avant garde art world days... Strict Machine was one of my thesis writing songs. I was trying to capture a sense of the mechanical, and channel it into productivity.