Sometimes, when I'm lying in bed and I can't sleep, I try and convince myself that Robyn and I aren't the same person. Or at least that the Swedish pop star isn't invading my head, taking note of my favorite songs, and then covering them (well -- the ones that she didn't write in the first place). But it's all for naught -- because she obviously is.
Earlier this year she took on Alicia Key's
"Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart"
(I spent most of January trudging through New York City's sludgy streets with that song playing on repeat in the catacombs of my inner ear) and now she's gone and covered Bjork's "Hyperballad."
I've always loved stupid questions like "if you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life what would it be?" (deep dish mushroom pizza with no cheese) and for a long time I thought I couldn't answer "what is your all-time favorite song?" but I think -- if I had the warm tip of an uzi pressed against my forehead -- I would say it's "Hyperballad."
Robyn's version is reverential without being redundant and the sweetness and intensity of the lyrics seem to resonate with Bjork, who's sitting stoically in the front row watching Robyn perform her song (talk about intimidating) until the very end when the Icelandic elfkin one -- are those misty eyes I see? -- cracks a smile.
-- NOAH MICHELSON
> Hummer: Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow's "Shame"