I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the Eye Tunes measure. But coming in at 399 listens this song must be something special, right.
Let’s go back to 2011. My life was getting more complicated. I was married. I had a girlfriend. And by the end of 2012, I was involved with a woman that was heading for federal prison. By 2013 I was separated and heading for the life I am living now.
Call Your Girlfriend emerged somewhere in late 2011 along with other songs by Robyn like Hang With Me, a song that inspired some of my writing during that period.
The first time I heard Hang With Me was at a bar in Capitol Hill. I listened to it almost non-stop on a trip to the Tri-Cities to deliver Christmas presents. The video is a classic road video, highlighting the romance of a bands trip across the countryside. I loved that. But I also loved the lyrics.
Just don’t fall
Recklessly, headlessly in love with me
Cause it’s gonna be
Blissfully painful and insanity
If we agree
Oh, you can hang with me
As inappropriate as it was at that time, that’s what I wanted. Heartbreak. Painful insanity.
Meanwhile, the woman I married was realizing she’d had enough. I wrote about this already, and Robyn’s song, Dancing On My Own, I think, became kind of an anthem for her frustration.
Robyn’s album Body Talk is a triumph. It isn’t just a dance thing or electronic. There is a buoyancy to it, a liveliness but also a depth that reaches into the emotions. Much of what Robyn sings about is poignant and rich. And it is relentlessly danceable.
Call Your Girlfriend, the song with 399 listens and the #1 song, is about a girl who is trying to gain the advantage. You’re here with me, dump that other girl. Tell her it’s over. It’s not a new theme. But Robyn celebrates that vulnerability and turns it into a kind of celebration of will, autonomy. And the way she dances turns the sentiment into something you can’t stop watching.
One of the most idiotic, persistent, and false dichotomies is the one drawn between art and science. On any day in the West, you’ll hear someone say, “It’s more of an art than a science,” a statement that implies that art is haphazard, random, and entirely intuitive.
The truth is that art is a science and science is an art. Science requires just as much intuition as art, and art requires just as much methodology and technique as science. One test of scientific research is, “Can it be repeated?” Robyn’s dancing is brilliant. And it is a science. And it can be duplicated.
If you’ve read this far and watched all this, you should know that all this gives me renewed faith in humanity, whether the Eye Tunes measured my listens accurately or not. And why can’t I match with Robyn on Bumble?