Robyn’s Girl Gang Kinda Gives Me The Creeps

May 19th, 2009 // 6 Comments

Swedish popnaut Robyn has assisted her countrywomen the Sweptaways with “I’ve Got Your Man,” a boastful song about snatching away a mate that was originally performed by Lady Saw. You’d think that my love for Robyn and her Max Headroomish styling in this clip–not to mention the similarly boastful Annie track “I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me,” which came out a year ago–would result in me thinking this track was pretty great. But instead, I came away from it shaking my head; the song was catchy enough, sure, but the whole girl-group-gone-gang aesthetic given off by the song’s sentiment and its a cappella instrumentation left me cold.

The Annie track from last year–refresh your memory here–provides the best analogue for “I’ve Got Your Man,” but I guess the main difference is one of object. In the Annie track, the gloating is kept private, or at least directed primarily toward the girlfriend, whose past actions have been not all that nice:

I don’t mind
If it’s the cold and sadistic you like
But now I’m thinking
Who’s wearing your trousers now
She’s no good
Oh stop pretending she’s misunderstood
I heard her saying it’s either me or her
Smell the coffee, boy, and open your eyes
Life’s too long for you to get it wrong

(We’ll unpack the implications of that “wearing your trousers” bit at another time.)

In contrast, on “I’ve Got Your Man,” Robyn is assisted by a bunch of girls ready to do her harmonizing bidding, as on the chorus:

Your man he told me
That he’s tired of the shit you got
He took one hit
And said my good shit keeps him coming back
He likes it tight
And said your shit is just a little slack
Girl don’t get mad at me
I’m only telling you the fact

I don’t know about you, but the notion of 30 women, as opposed to a single lady, throwing out singsong allegations regarding the tautness of one’s ladyparts is absolutely horrifying. And what I’m trying to figure out is this: Would it be different if it were just Robyn doing it up? Or did I just have a rough time of it in my formative friendships-with-other-females years?

The Sweptaways [MySpace]
The Sweptaways & Robyn: I’ve Got Your Man [YouTube via DontStopThePop]


  1. Can’t WAIT for the Whiffenpoofs to cover this.

  2. okay, so between this and ben folds’ recent project, are acappella groups the new hotness?

  3. @silkyjumbo: a terrifying, terrifying thought.

  4. @joshservo: Srsly — the most interesting part is when the chorus starts to repeat with those sharp harmonies, which instantly transported me back to the quad (for better and worse — call it a flashback).

    That said, I’m a little mixed on the song overall.

  5. @silkyjumbo: I think the phrase “Ben Folds’ recent project” tells you everything you need to know re: newness, hotness.

  6. Sounds like Robyn has been listening to some old school Robyn Hitchcock; judging from the comments here so far, it sounds like the rest of you haven’t. ie: “Uncorrected personality traits” and “Furry Green Atom Bowl”.

    SaltNPeppa said “let’s talk about sex” over 15 years ago. Can we? I cringe at more disembodied lines like in Fergies “lady humps”. Remember two live crew’s – “Pop that coochie”? – now that is viscera up in your face.

    Robyn’s playfulness balances that primal line imho. Where for example in Peaches “fuck the pain away” there is no humor; it’s all base.

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