Robbie Williams is the creator of some of the most controversy in the world of music. Much like Marmite, he is either loved or loathed. And I must admit that while I do not mind his music too much, I am not exactly fond of him as a person. Arrogant, cocky and audacious are three words that spring to mind. I had never intended on listening to his latest album, but when asked to share my views on 'Reality Killed the Video Star', I realized I had nothing to lose...
With downloads becoming increasingly popular, CD sales are naturally decreasing so it is important for a label to sell the albums with an attractive cover. I must give Mr Williams praise here. Where a lot of artists are going for more 'modern' styles, with unnatural backdrops and bright colours that creates more than an eyesore, this album has something a bit more calm. Robbie is astride a motorbike, resting lethargically on the front, with a dusty plane painted behind him. It's quite peaceful and relaxed, not at all 'in your face'.
Okay so so far I was reasonably impressed, but I had to explore the tracks. Scanning down the song list, I noticed that I knew of just one of the options - not surprising at all. Not knowing what to expect, I set myself up ready to listen, hoping for a pleasant experience...
The first track on the album is 'Morning Sun' - a beautiful title for a song. Much to my surprise, this was equally as peaceful and melodic. It's quite gentle and has such a soothing aura. It turns out that Robbie actually wrote the song as a tribute to the late Michael Jackson. As much as my admiration for both artists is lacking somewhat, that still brought a tear to my eye.
Following this we have something a bit more tempo. 'Bodies' is one of Robbie's latest hits to reach the charts, and I must say it is quite catchy. I'd not really attached to any of his releases since 'Rudebox' in 2006, so I was quite pleased that he had finally released something else. Now I had expected this to be the first track on the album to kick start things off with a bit of bounce, but it's still a great song and having it as the second track is not a bad thing at all!
The pattern begins to flow as we enter another gentle track, with 'You Know Me'. I hate to admit it, but this is one of the most beautiful tracks I've heard in a long time. It's so lovely and warm, and the vocals are so precise. Mr Williams, I am impressed with this one!
'Blasphemy' is our fourth track, yet another slow paced song with a soothing tempo. The lyrics are beautiful and worth paying attention to, rather than just listening to the rhythm with half an ear open. Again, the vocals are delightful and this is certainly another to draw a tear or two.
My mood was starting to lower at this point and I was hoping for something a little more uplifting with the next track. Thankfully, it was spot on. 'Do You Mind' is not so powerful that my body went into shock with the sudden change, but it did have a bit more spring in it that the previous few tracks. Its upbeat tempo was perfect for giving my spirits that little lift they desired, and better still it was an all round good song too!
'Last Day of Disco' approached next. I wasn't sure what to make of it when I first listened. It has quite a techno rhythm to it but the vocals are more gentle than I would have expected. It isn't a bad track as such - it has no significant flaws - it simply is not to my taste. I feel it will grow on me in time though.
Following this we have 'Somewhere'. Now I've found that pretty much every song with the word Somewhere in the title has been very peaceful. While this song is not too paced, its the length that struck me the most. At a little over a minute this isn't a typical song. Though despite its length it does stick with you and has the most beautiful ending.
The eighth track on the album is 'Deceptacon'. When the first word of a track is 'microwave', it is fair that I was quite amused from the beginning. It's another soft song, flowing beautifully with such soothing vocals. Although it is not my favourite song on the album, it is still wonderfully pieced and one certainly worth listening to.
'Starstruck' is our next track, and right on cue it gives us a fairly upbeat tempo. It has quite a bounce to it and although the lyrics are not too catchy, the rhythm makes up for that by far. Not a song I'd buy on its own, but still quite a good track for the album.
The title of the tenth track is a little unusual. 'Difficult for weirdos' had me intrigued straight away, and I was quite surprised at the pace of the song when it began to play too. It is definitely one of the most energetic tracks on the album, a lot more upbeat. Again this is not exactly to my taste but the song itself is not too bad. Though I don't think I'll be listening again to this one in a hurry.
'Superblind' is our second last track, and by this point things start to wind down usually. Thankfully, Robbie does not break the 'rule' with this one. Although it isn't really a catchy song, it still flows wonderfully and is a great one for relaxing to.
Last but not least we come to 'Won't Do That'. It's important that the last track on an album is quite powerful as it is generally the one that gives us our final impression. Thankfully, this one did create an impact. Although it's a little more uptempo than the previous track, it is still quite soothing and most certainly one of the most splendid songs on the album. A great way to end!
Priced at around £10, this is definitely an album worth buying. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am not a fan of Robbie Williams. Although I still am not keen on himself, I must admit that I do like his music a lot more than before. I think this is partly because I've never really given it the chance, but now that I have sat down and dedicated the time to Mr Williams, I have to admit that I am quite impressed. He is a great artist, I cannot deny that, and maybe in time I will come to love his personalty. Until then though, I shall just gorge in my new found appreciation for his latest album!