9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Progress (Audio CD)
I have always admired Take That, and seen them as a level above the rest of their pretenders, but this is the first of their albums that I have actually purchased. I guess I did it partly becauise I loved 'The Flood' (single) and partly because I love the story of Robbie and the band, where a bona-fide superstar gets some humble and returns to the origins of his now fully blossomed talent, sharing his skills with a group, and the credit and adoration aforded by fans in the process. This is something that rarely happens in the music world at this level, and perhaps never will again. People can say he was a fading force and needed this, but lets not kid ourselves, Robbie needs nothing of the sort, and is only a minor re-invention of himself away from being at the pinacle again. He still can be whatever he wants, and this took some sacrifice on his part in my opinion.
It will be difficult to get a true idea of how good this album is from the opinions of fans themselves with so many split on Robbie coming back. Many people will hate on this record simply beacuse they didn't want to see their baby changed or hold a grudge. I agree with others that they were due a change after two similar albums. Robbie brings the rebel back to Take that, and that was missing for a long time. If you look at the profile of the four other band members, that personality type (and its input) was a gaping hole, even if they were able to make sweet music up until now.
In a time of so much mediocrity, where there is so little creativity, Take That have broken new territory, and continue to define the way forward, and in this instance I feel they owe a debt to Robbie for taking them there. His hallmark is clearly stamped across this album, and despite what has been said by others about him 'dominating procedures', I feel he should be a strong presence given his re-emergence, and that as per the title of the album, this is all about change, progress. Robbie should be portrayed as an integral part of Take That, and having him feature prominently goes some way to doing that. It is also worth keeping in mind that its probably important to the band and others carrying a financial interest in them that the Robbie fans are brought on board, and I say fair enough. It's interesting that people didn't seem to complain too much about Gary dominating previously, I have no issues with him taking a back seat for a change.
If you havent got it, go do so, and like others have said, give it more than one listen before paying judgement, as so much of the subleties come out that was. The lyrical content in this album goes to a higher level that has been seen previosuly from them, and you also only get that from investment in listening over time.