on 5 November 2012
Most of the tracks on this album have a trendy quality but the album as a whole is not superficial. Many of the tracks are very moving. The songs have a distinct vibrancy. Even the more introspective ballads are alive and energetic. My favorite tracks are "Be a Boy", "Candy" which is very catchy, "Hunting for You", and probably the most passionate song "Different". One song that I thought was over-produced was "Hey Wow Yeah Yeah". The song "Losers" doesn't quite fit in with the other tracks, it has more of an indie, singer/songwriter sound. Over all, "Take the Crown" is a very good album.
Jennifer K. Lafferty
Author of "Offbeat Love Stories and More"
on 5 November 2012
The Ego Has Re-Landed :)
On the whole, a good selection of new material. Only one song in my mind lets it down (S*** On The Radio, too repetitive on the line s*** on the radio makesit a spoiler) but the remainder are very good indeed. Purchased from the MP3 store on the day of release and have listened to it 3 times that day already !
on 18 November 2012
Hit play, sit back, and get taken on a journey through classic Robbie Williams back to his absolute best. Yes, 'Candy' may come across with a 'novelty' feel to it but it's a fine line between 'novelty' and 'catchy' and this track is ultimately catchy. No such potential confusion with the rest of the album however where the winning Roobie formula of great lyrics and anthemic tunes keep you listening over and over again. 'Different', 'Hunting for You', 'Into the Silence' are all crackers with the feel of early Robbie and it's great to hear an alubm where the second half stands up to the first. Brilliant stuff - gutted that I didn't manage to get tickets to see the man live!
on 14 November 2012
I've had this album since the day of release, and I'm writing a review as I can't believe there are only 2 reviews!!
As a massive Robbie fan I'm always hopeful of a great selection of songs, and usually he doesn't let me down, and hasn't on 'Take The Crown'
The very catchy 'Candy' is not a reflection of the rest of the album, which doesn't mean the other material isn't catchy, but it's not in the same style. Lots of tracks that wouldn't be out of place on 'Life Thru a Lens' or 'Escapology'. My own favourite on here is 'Not Like The Others' but there are other stand out tracks too, especially 'Different', 'Hunting For You' and 'Be A Boy'. I have the deluxe version which has two extra tracks (including 'Eight Letters' which Robbie sings here without the TT boys) and a great little DVD extra thrown in, showing the making of the 'Candy' video and some other footage of Robbie making the album.
It's obvious the Robster is in a good place at the moment, and his confidence in this record reflects that. Long may it continue. Can't wait for the tour!
on 26 November 2012
Robbie will always court controversy, he's a 'Marmite' sort of chap. To me he's all about entertainment,and maybe his charisma doesn't always translate to his music. All his albums have had the stand out tracks, the 'silly' tracks, and the duff stuff. I love Robbie, and he never fails to surprise. None of his albums are the same, they're all different, that's what I like. Talking of which, 'Different' is quite possibly the best song he's made to date (imo). I love this album, it's grown on me, even 'Losers' (my least favourite) has merit. I would say 'welcome back Rob', but he's never been away!
'Take The Crown' has many atypical Robbie Williams moments and is generally a good, solid set. It is not a CLASSIC Robbie album though in the respect that there are no truly AWESOME songs here just quite a few good ones and one or two fillers.
Opener, 'Be A Boy' is probably the best track and is a typically lyrically combative Robbie song. While its 'I haven't lost it and if you think I have come and take my place' lyrical swagger is full of Robbie's usual bravado and posing the rest of the album has a less confident 'maybe I am losing it' feel to it. The best illustration of this alleged paranoia being the two sub standard but familiarly abrasive Robbie songs, 'S*** On The Radio' and 'Hey Wow Yeah Yeah'. Both songs are little more than annoying choruses and lack substance and/or any worthwhile lyrics but in the same breathe you know when listening to them that they were included simply to get up your nose and remind you again whom it is you are listening to.
Of course, we all know that Robbie need not bother resorting to such tactics and are confident in stating that he is one of the most essential british male singers of all time. Rob, however, seems less sure of this though and there is an element of 'trying too hard' about this record that spoils it a bit.
I don't like the production here either. Many of the songs are overly busy and the whole album is somehow 'annoyingly loud'. I get the fact that the trend these days is for albums to be more like a collection of 'instant' sounding singles (sadly, in my opinion) but in places this set wears me out with its boundless energy and I find myself thinking like my Mum and Dad who have to 'suffer' my music downstairs.
For all of these reasons 'Take The Crown' is a less accomplished set than most of Robbie's others. I guess it is some kind of tribute to the man though that in spite of all these things it is still an eight out of ten record...
on 15 March 2013
It's taken me a while to review this album. I usually find myself loving a new Robbie Williams album in the first few weeks of release, however after a while some songs begin to lose appeal while others come to the fore later on. And I believe this is applicable to all his albums.
Some of the quieter more introspective tracks on Life Thru A Lens only shone through after the `singles' had outstayed their welcome. After Angels finally broke, everywhere you went, Let Me Entertain You would be blaring from the speakers.
I've Been Expecting You had quite an eclectic mix of songs including the fantastic Grace and Win Some Lose Some but again was overwhelmed by the `big' singles.
This has been the case throughout his solo career. Many claim Escapology as a masterpiece however apart from Feel, Come Undone and perhaps Hot Fudge, it seemed the inspiration behind his lyrics which at times could be quite vindictive had evaporated into blandness and predictability.
Rudebox was a welcome breath of fresh air yet is completely ignored....even by Robbie. Yet this was the brand `RW' which he promised upon leaving Take That in the mid 90's. An obnoxious, lovable bloke who likes to sing a bit, likes to dance a bit and isn't afraid to say a few naughty words! Everyone hated him for it and so he released another Escapology called Reality Killed The Video Star.
Whilst that was not a BAD album, it wasn't the album Robbie should have made a comeback with in 2009. Luckily (and whatever your thoughts on RW returning to TT need not be discussed here), he was a major part of Progress and being honest, Gary, Jason, Mark & Howard hadn't shown any kind of impression prior to Progress that they were going to go the electro-retro route that Progress became. I fully believe Progress to be the album Robbie Williams wanted to release as a comeback but didn't quite have the guts to go with his instinct. That's not a slight on the other four members. It's clear that they had their input, but the overall feel is very much RW and what he `should' have done back in 2009 or even before.
Which brings us to Take The Crown. Finally he's gone with his gut instinct and released a RW album where he covers the lyrical ground of yore but with an upbeat modern finish which ensures he is as viable and more importantly, vital as ever.
And this time, the lesser album tracks shine as much as the singles. Gospel, All That I Want and Hunting For You are three of the best songs Robbie has written in 15 years.
Losers may be a cover, but it's now a Robbie song and he gives it his all.
Hey Wow Yeah Yeah is a bit of throwaway nonsense but still works (and a great intro to his live show).
With regards to the singles released, of these Candy was the obvious candidate. It's extremely catchy, competes with the new kids on the block (Ollie Murs, One Direction etc) and beats them at their own game!
Different is up there with Feel, Better Man and Angels.
Be A Boy is the best track on the album and ideally would have been the ultimate first single as a statement to say "I'M BACK!". The synth intro is one of those things that get the hairs on your neck standing to attention.
However as a first single, with a track like Candy up your sleeve, you've got to reclaim that pop crown by beating the youngsters at their own game and plaudits to him for that.
Therefore Take The Crown is a resounding success and hopefully, he'll be around for some time yet. Whilst Take That are still a force to be reckoned with, they really need to ensure he's back in the line up for their next album as brand RW is shining brighter than ever!
on 8 January 2013
This album had the misfortune of being the follow-up to the incredible 'Reality killed the video star,' and having listened to 'Take the Crown' a dozen times or so I'm still not really sure what to make of it.
On the first couple of listens I was disappointed; I found the album somewhat pretentious, lacking in the clear narrative of the previous album and perhaps even a little passionless - surprising considering the poignancy of most of my favourite Robbie songs. However, I have since changed my mind on that front at least.
'Take the Crown' takes more work to crack than 'Reality killed the video star,' but there are a couple of real gems to be found. The single 'Candy' is of course an almost maddeningly infectious immortalisation of an over-indulged, shallow breed of LA chica XD , and 'Different' is a classic Robbie belter loaded with that brand of bittersweet wretchedness that makes it so powerful and at which he so excels.
'Be a Boy' is moderately catchy, and 'Gospel' is understandably favoured amongst those who have listened to the album, indeed, the infamous line near the end made me laugh outloud the first time I heard it. 'S*** on the Radio' could easily have been a single too (If it weren't for the swearword I suppose?!)as it rivals 'Candy' with it's upbeat rhythm and somewhat anarchic tones. To be honest, 'All that I want' never made an impression on me, I found it dragged for me though I am sure there are others who will certainly dispute that. 'Hunting for you' is quite anthemic, though I must confess I am most obsessed with the following track, 'Into the Silence' though I haven't seen this one discussed quite as much as the other songs. This is, lyrically, a rather hostile thing, but that isn't a negative detail at all. One of my favourite things about Robbie is how rarely he resorts to cliche and this song is a prime example of that, as well as being angry and bitter and stroppy and heart-broken and altogether quite beautiful. On the other hand... I'm just going to go ahead and skim right over 'Hey wow yeah yeah,' and leave it at this: I was not keen.
'Not like the Others' is an odd one, primarily because it reminds me enormously of something else, but I can't put my finger on what. 'Losers' is a pleasant, almost folksy number, which - while a good song - does feel a tiny bit out of place on this particular album. 'Reverse' is lovely, one for turning up annoyingly loud for the neighbourhood to enjoy ;^) and his version of 'Eight Letters' is phenomenal. I daresay I prefer it to the Take That version, it's sweeter and slower, it just works.
All in all, 'Take the Crown' is worth taking some time with, but I think I may still prefer his last album if I'm honest.
Additionally, I thought the album art was really awesome: Robbie's many different coloured heads is quite something to behold. XD
on 5 November 2012
He may have let others hold the crown for a while, but it's still his. As far as male pop stars go, it doesn't get much bigger or talented than Robbie Williams. He knows how to create a good pop album, and that's just what he's done again.
It is different to his last offering, 2009's Reality Killed The Video Star, which itself was also a great album. This time, Robbie focuses a lot on more uptempo material. There are hardly any real, slow ballads on this (only about 2), yet at the same time, most of the songs have a lot of heart. A lot of this album sounds like it has influences of U2 with a pinch of Coldplay and even a tiny bit of Keane. I begins with "Be A Boy", which is a great opener. This could have been the first single in my opinion (it's certainly much better than "Candy"). This is the kind of song that will have stadiums singing along with him. The only thing I dislike about this track is the saxophone (seriously, who uses a sax in 2012?) (10/10)
Next up is "Gospel" which is another big song. It starts off modestly but morphs into being very anthemic towards the end. I do feel that the swear words at the end kind of ruin the song a bit as they seems unnecessary, but otherwise this song is pretty good (8.5/10). "Candy" is up next, which (somehow) was the first single. This isn't a horrible song, but to me, it is very mediocre, and I can't believe it was chosen as the lead single to represent the album. It sticks out like a sore thumb on the album, as it doesn't sounds like any of the other songs. I could do with or without it (5/10).
"Different" is THE track on this album. This will be the second single in December. It's easily the best track on the album and probably Robbie's best single since his Escapology days. This has the potential to be a big hit and the potential to join other classics like "Angels", "Come Undone", "Feel" and "Millennium". It's a well, written uptempo ballad. Gorgeous (10/10).
The next 2 songs are both uptempo dance/rock songs. "S*** On The Radio" is a feel-good song, in the vein of "A Place To Crash" from 2005's Intensive Care album, but more care-free with 80's influences (8/10). "All That I Want" follows, which I love because it has a dance/pop beat but it's still has guitars (8.5/10). Both of these songs are very catchy. Track 7 is "Hunting For You", which is lovely. A little more downtempo than the previous tracks, but not by much. (8.5/10).
"Into The Silence" is the second best song after "Different". This one could (and should) be an upcoming single, in my opinion. The lyrics are amazing. "when karma reaches you I want to be there just in case it needs help." They sound really angry on paper, but in the context of the song, they are heartbreaking. A lot of U2 influence on this one (10/10).
A lot of people will consider "Hey Wow Yeah Yeah" as the filler track. Certainly, it seems more like b side material, but I actually don't mind it. The lyrics are not very deep, but they're not supposed to be (6.5/10). "Not Like the Others" is another great uptempo rock track. It's a good, catchy song, but there are so many other greater songs on the album that overshadow it a bit (7.5/10).
"Losers". This is the one track I just really don't care too much for. I know Robbie loves it, and a lot of other fans love it, but to me his vocals are too screechy at times. Not too crazy about the lyrics either. I didn't even know this was a cover song, but I guess it makes sense. (4/10)
The deluxe edition contains 2 bonus tracks: "Reverse", which reminds me of Keane, and "Eight Letters". "Reverse" is another big, uptempo ballad in the vein of "Different" (but not as amazing). Its serves well as a bonus track. (8/10) "Eight Letters" is a nice song, but this version needs a little more polishing up, especially Robbie's vocals. Sounds a little too rough around the edges (it may be a demo version, but I'm not sure. Plus, it's just a pinch too sappy for me (7.5/10)
Overall, I'm very pleased with this album. I give the entire album and 8/10, which is well above average. I hope Robbie keeps churning out songs and doesn't wait too long until his next album.
on 21 November 2012
This album Is simply Amazing, Robbie Williams best one yet In my opinion. Every track Is brilliant, To many favourite tracks to mention, Love all of them, Definitely a winner for sure!!