To start off with, I am not a huge Robbie fan, so this is an unbiased review. Secondly, I felt I had to post my comments to counter the negative remarks that have been made by other "reviewers" who have yet to hear the album! I've had access to a preview copy of the new CD and have to say that I really like it, in fact I can't stop playing it at the moment! In my opinion this marks a return to form for Robbie, more in line with his older material (Angels, Feel, Millennium, etc.). The main difference between this new CD and his older works would be the fact that he had dropped the cheesy "cheeky boy" act and seems to be taking a much more mature approach to his music.
The album leans more towards reflective ballads and gentle pop with about 3 upbeat tracks in between but nothing as high energy as "Let Me Entertain You" or "Rock DJ". Don't get me wrong, tracks like "Do You Mind", "Difficult for Weirdos" will still get you bopping around in the kitchen and are great fun but this is a more mature sound which shows that Robbie is growing along with his audience and he really gives us something that we can connect with. Trevor Horn's production is excellent, delivering a very rich layered sound with plenty of orchestration. The two tracks with a more "electronic" sound, ("Last Days of Disco" and "Difficult For Weirdos") would easily fit on to any Pet Shop Boys album but work equally well on this CD. I love the track "Bodies" and there are loads more stand out tracks on the album that will no doubt be future singles, such as "Morning Sun" and "Decepticon", both of which are excellent.
Definitely worth a listen whether you are a Robbie fan or not and highly recommended if you are a fan of well produced pop music.