Röyksopp‘s long awaited return last summer was a happy one, soon to be touched by sadness, as they announced that The Inevitable End would be their last album in that form (whatever that means). But the five-track mini-album Do It Again was where things really began again, and was a refreshing and wonderful return for both them and their collaborator Robyn.
The first track Monument is deeply atmospheric, as though Röyksopp‘s sound has just got bigger with each release (it possibly has). An album ago, we saw them collaborate with Robyn on the fantastic The Girl and the Robot, and their return is enormous. This is true not only in the timing sense, although this track alone lasts nearly ten minutes, but also the huge cathedral-like pads, and even Robyn‘s vocal, although sombre and soft, it would fill a room too.
When it finally winds down, what comes next is the more rhythmic Sayit, with just the one lyric, for the first couple of minutes at least. And then the Speak and Spell comes out, and Robyn enters into an extended dialogue with a machine, a bizarre and ultimately rather beautiful sonic experiment. It’s every bit as brilliant as the first track too.
Then comes the exquisite Do It Again, the title track, on which Robyn accurately describes anticipation as being like “mmm, mmm.” It’s somehow entirely unlike anything either Robyn or Röyksopp have recorded previously, but it still sounds just like both of them.
It’s also at this point in the review that I realise I’ve run out of superlatives. Do It Again, the mini-album, that is – well, actually the song too – is entirely fantastic, and there’s really no other way of putting it. Every track is among the best that either act has ever put together.
Every Little Thing is next, predictably extremely good – in fact, this is probably my favourite of the five tracks. In a way, I can’t help but wish this had been released a year or two earlier, some time around the middle of the long gap between Senior (2010) and The Inevitable End (2015) – it would have plugged that hole very nicely.
If this release had a weak point, it would probably be the final track, Inside the Idle Hour Club, and even then only because everything else is so exemplary. This one is lovely; it doesn’t quite grab you by the throat the way everything else seems to.
If, for some unknown reason, Do It Again passed you by, I’d urge you to track it down – it’s one of the best comebacks for a very long time. It’s just a shame that Röyksopp‘s return seems to have been so short-lived, and that it was tinged by the sad news that we probably won’t be getting another proper studio album for a long, long time.
You can find Do It Again through all major music retailers.