This is an archived post from Wishes on Eyelashes, a previous incarnation of this site.
Robbie thinks his new album is intellectual. It’s not. Neither is it very good.
After the incredibly successful Escapology was finished, Sony offered Robbie Williams and partner Guy Chambers a lucrative contract to write exclusively for them. Robbie took £80million, Guy Chambers said no.
New cohort Stephen Duffy has been brought in for Robbie’s latest offering, a partnership which should’ve led to great things.
“It’s taken two and a half years to write this album, hence the title Intensive Care” says the king of pop in the bonus DVD to this his fifth studio album.
It seems Sony are desperate to not let us forget this. The selling point, amidst the uninspiring blanket promotion, for this album was the deep, revealing lyrics that it contains.
Unfortunately this is far from the case.
‘The trouble with me, I’ve got a head full of fuck’ (‘The Trouble With Me’) is not ‘starling news’ as new cohort Stephen Duffy might claim, but one in a long line of pseudo-emotive lyrics.
Even the musical inspiration in this album is poor. ‘Sin Sin Sin’ sounds like Robbie covering a Lightning Seeds song; ‘Your Gay Friend’ is sing-a-long-a-ska in Reel Big Fish fashion (albeit the most toe-tapping track on the album); and the less said about supposed mini gangster opera ‘Tripping’, the better.
Having said that there are, thankfully, some moments of greatness. His heartfelt homage to Elvis, ‘Advertising Space’ is simply brilliant and surely a future Number One. Similarly ‘King Of Bloke And Bird’ and ‘Please Don’t Die’ are warming ballads that remind of Robbie of old.
The Rolling Stones inspired ‘A Place To Crash’ even shows he still has the power to entertain as well as croon.
Quite why anyone thought we wanted to hear Robbie Williams singing country, reggae, or karaoke-pop is anyone’s guess.
‘You can’t say I haven’t tried, perhaps I tried to hard’ Robbie said on his last album. Bet he didn’t think it would’ve been so appropriate to his next album.
‘Intensive Care’ is on course to outsell the whole of the Top 20 combined on its first week of release. For an album that promised so much it seems a shame to disappoint so many people.
It is not so much a grown-up improvement for Robbie Williams as an unsuccessful, lacklustre attempt to be different from the past. Penny for the Guy anyone?