It’s cold out. Let’s take a bath to Robyn’s latest album HONEY:
Procure and place the following items next to your bathtub: one waterproof speaker, one bag of your favorite scented Epsom salt, one towel of at least Wamsutta quality, one rubber ducky (ideally the one you’ve saved since childhood), and one jar of all-natural, local honey.
Ensure you have nothing to do for the next 40:18 minutes. Light your bathroom appropriately with a candle, disco ball, or color-changing LED lights on a pre-programmed loop. Load up HONEY, Robyn’s latest album, on your streaming platform or musical library of choice. Remove your clothes.
Press play on Track #1: “Missing U,” as you turn on the shower. Get in right away, before the water warms. Shock your body with frigid water, like the shock of loss that led Robyn to write this track about the death of her lifelong friend and collaborator Christian Falk. Discover how your pulse matches the beat, blasting at 120 BPM to maintain your core body temperature. As the water warms and you catch your breath, ‘think of the pieces of your past delusions.’ ‘Pick up the memories you don’t know how to use,’ and scrub yourself clean of them (with soap). Think of everything that led to this moment in time as you cleanse yourself of the past. You don’t want to bathe in the past. When the final chorus drops, dance like you are dancing for your life.
The song stops abruptly, a pulse cut off mid-beat. As the discordant horns of Track #2: “Human Being” whine, turn off the shower head and direct the flow of water to the bathtub spigot. Let go of the effort keeping your body upright against the weight of the world and sink to the cold floor of the tub. Let the warm water slowly fill the basin, lapping under your broken shell of a body. Listen to yourself — where does it hurt? You are a human being. And every time Robyn reminds you of such by saying the words “Human Being,” sit up and add a healthy heaping of Epsom salt crystals under the tap. Then flop back into a bathtub corpse pose — a Swedish Shavasana. The bathtub should fill by the end of the song. Using only your favorite foot, shut off the tap, and lie still.
As the chords of Track #3: “Because It’s In The Music” tremble into being with light arpeggios, begin moving your fingers on the surface of the water. Trace shapes of your choosing. Think of rivers. Think of clouds. Think of Heaven. Think of before the 2016 election. “If it makes you want to cry,” then spill those tears. If you can’t cry on command, dab the corners of your eye with the salty water to produce tears. Remember the light at the end of the dark tunnel. Breathe. You’re going to make it through this.
But not before you go into the depths of Track #4: “Baby Forgive Me.” Before we can move on, we must learn from our mistakes. Think of yours. Pretend you’re in AA (if you aren’t) and imagine the ten people you’ve most wronged in your life. Pick up the rubber ducky next to the tub. Speak to it as if it was each person. Tell it you’re sorry and ask it for forgiveness.
The second the track changes over to Track #5: “Send to Robin Immediately,” drop the rubber ducky into the salty water. Watch it bob, now just an inanimate object, no longer anthropomorphized. Life is short. People will leave you. We are all going to die. Sit up in the tub. Face the light source you chose for your bathroom, and as the verse drops, speak to it: “If you got something to say, say it right away.” Listen for what the universe whispers back.
You’ve survived. You’ve made it through the darkness. You’ve spoken to the light and the shadows on the walls. Now, it’s time to get your Track #6: “Honey.” Reach for your Wamsutta or better towel and wipe your hands dry. Then, hold up your jar of all-natural, local honey you brought to the bathtub. Dip in your fingers and suck the sweet nectar to your lips, one viscous drop at a time. Savor what you want out of life. True, it may not be what you need. We’ll get that later.
Wash your hands in the salty water. Dab each finger free of honey one at a time to the opening pulse of Track #7: “Between The Lines.” It’s time — to move your body. We are going to take one muscle at a time. Isolate your body parts in time to the music in this order: toes, feet, ankles, shins, hips, tummy, heart, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, neck, ears, eye, and third eye. Your body is your temple, and you must worship it. Once each muscle has been expressed, sink under the surface and hold your breath as long as you can. You’re indestructible. Finally, burst forth and scream!
It’s time for track #8: “Beach 2k20.” Skip it.
Open the drain…and rise. We’ve come to the end — Track #9: “Ever Again.” As the bathwater of the past 35 minutes rushes into the nothingness below, turn back on the shower. Sing with Robyn into the shower head as the drops dapple your face. Celebrate the truth: you’re never gonna be broken-hearted again. As the four-on-the-floor beat drops at 2:50 min, grind your hips left and right in time to the beat one last time. Then, turn off the shower head and dry off your body off sexily, like the Dancehall Queen you are. As the song begins to fade, look at yourself in the mirror. You are alive! You got yourself together — dancing and bathing on your own. You are a human being, and like Robyn, you can be reborn through the pain. You got what you wanted, and you’ve found what you need.