When it comes to the pop music narratives we’ll remember 2018 by, the most enduring will probably be a fictional one: “A Star is Born,” the weepy Oscar front-runner that, for all its many charms, has a fairly dim opinion of pop. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, the film seems to say, with its assumed-to-be familiar story of Lady Gaga’s Ally, a young artist who leaves the authentic songwriting and heartfelt work of her early days behind for costumes, dance routines and soulless hits. It’s supposed to be the story we’re all supposed to know to be true about pop music, how it’s the genre that makes you famous, but perhaps not the same kind of fulfilled.
And then, there’s Robyn’s “Honey,” the best pop album of 2018, which proves that there’s so many wonders of the genre that the movie doesn’t care to tell. Pop is supposed to be a genre that belongs to brightest young things; Robyn is 39 years old, and has been in the game for decades — first famous in her home country of Sweden, then crossing the pond to become a beloved critical favorite in the states. And she’s now making the some of the best music of her career.
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