Robbie Williams - Reality Killed the Video Star
- David Pollock
- 13 November 2009
Here’s a bit of Robbie Williams’ press statement in the run up to the release of this, his eighth studio album: ‘[When people listen to it] I want them to forget about who they are and where they are for 50 minutes’. Some fans might wonder if Williams counts himself among this group, given the fact his millennium-centric heyday was followed by a quite meteoric fall from grace involving worsening records, ‘drug hell’ (or Los Angeles, if you will) and UFO sightings, even as his old Take That muckers once more became the manband masters of the universe.
On the other hand, there might be a particular strain of people who have always considered Williams to be a deathly boring company man, whose entropic ‘Angels’ and subsequent deification is based upon a cheeky smile and a reasonable ability to sell tabloid newspapers. Neither group will be particularly impressed by this underwhelming comeback. Oh, hold on: ‘Don’t call it a comeback’, breathes Williams during ‘Last Days of Disco’, which is so anti-disco it makes A-Ha sound like Giorgio Moroder. Sorry, Rob. If you say so.
Hands have already been wrung over the furiously dull ‘Bodies’, so let’s turn our attention to the flurry of self-referential ballads like ‘Blasphemy’, ‘Won’t Do That’ and ‘Deceptacon’ (thankfully not the Le Tigre song), or the impotent, diluted hair-rock of ‘Do You Mind?’. Only ‘You Know Me’ manages to be catchy, memorable and not vomit-inducing in its utter devotion to its subject and singer. A blot on Trevor Horn’s copybook; just more of the same from Williams.