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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 June 2007
Like a performing pop monkey, Robbie always manages to keep going, some kind of gurning, self-depreciating, self-loathing hero who just can't help making pop music, despite himself.

All hail king of the bland. I don't get Robbie Williams success musically at all. I've listened to the albums. I'm willing to admit that there's a reasonable pop talent there - better and more articulate and more interesting than a million forcefed diva puppets. But greatness? No. Robbie will never be great.

Robbie will always be, at best, a famous person who makes records. Not someone who makes records who happens to be famous. And this is the immense gulf between the two.

Robbie sells not because he is good, but because he's Robbie Williams. He's that geezer what sung "Angels", and we all love him. Geez. How hard is it exactly, to be incredibly rich, and be able to have anyone you want, and not be able to walk down the street?

"The ultimate sanction of those in the public eye is withdrawl" - Paul Morley.

And yet, Robbie can't disconnect. He. Cannot. He needs the touch of the crowd like a junkie needs a fix. He can't let go. And so, with his carefully packaged team and image, the ever daring Robbie dabbles with some kind of pop reggae and stadium platitudes that rarely step outside of the bland musical box he's put himself into and wound himself up inside.

The opening "Ghosts", like any Robbie song manages some kind of vaguely clever wordplay, mixed with charmless arrogance and a featureless backing track. Whilst not the McDonalds of pop, Robbie comes close in formulaic massproduced loathing. Robbie - for people who think Blue are just a little bit boring.

I know he's a star, and yet, I find it difficult to tell the songs apart, or even care. The only time I can really tell songs finish is when there's some silence. "Tripping" manages to spotweld an almost memorable chorus with some lyrics about people who've done `Bird', and the kind of music that UB40 would buy off Max Thingummy so they could crack the charts once again.

"Make Me Pure", "Spread Your Wings", "Please Don't Die", "Random Acts Of Kindness"- these are the type of titles that wouldn't be out of place on a Bette Midler album. Musically they're about the same : pop music for people whose passion for art is akin to their interest in what type of food they eat. They don't care. I'll buy some music. Robbie'll do.

In fact, it's two songs that were originally destined for Robbie's longmooted PureFrancis alter-ego that are by far the best things here : "Your Gay Friend" and "Sin Sin Sin" are easily the most interesting things on the album by an enormous margin. In the same way that 2004's "Radio" was an intruiging left turn, these two semi-disco epics are enormous, brilliant, and bizarre. Sadly, it's over too soon in favour of old fashioned stadium rock that would shame even Bon Jovi.

In the end `Intensive Care' is homogenous sludge with a singer that hints at a potential for being interesting that his recorded career has only seen glimpses of. If Robbie cut loose of his traditional writing team and investigated the musical leftfield, he could achieve the greatness he obviously aspires to.
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on 7 January 2006
I came to this album objectively having been impressed with some of Mr Williams more recent outputs like Escapology, however I was hugely disappointed - and that disappointment only increased on further listenings (the wife is a fan!)
Some of the more thoughtful lyrics might well have been bearable if it wasn't for the completely substandard tunes that turn this into a collection of 'B-sides I'd rather forget'.
I would like to recommend at least one song for further listening but to be honest there is nothing redeeming about this album. This once likeable northern hero seems to have developed a case of self-obsession, false modesty and an arrogant assumption that he can churn out any old drivel and peaople will buy it - ah, it's sold in shedloads - what do I know!
Still, next time something for everyone, eh, Rob?
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on 28 November 2005
I have all Robbie's albums and this is the best one todate. It's more grown up and the songs have great lyrics. I feel that he has excelled in this album, although, as with all albums, I feel explicit lyrics are not necessary to sell an album, but I get over this and find myself singing along with the words, whatever! I recommend it and look forward to the next one.
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on 25 October 2005
I like Robbie, really I do. But what was he thinking? Not really any catchy songs and all very depressing stuff.
I would recommend you steer clear of this.
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on 12 November 2005
What a cracking album from young Robbie.
Like other reviewers I too was critical of his early work but have since been won over by his undisputed talent and spellbinding live performances.
The first release from the album "Tripping" certainly isn't a bad track, but wasn't the reason for me purchasing the album. It's a fun track and definately grows on you but the album is crammed with so many better songs, such as the brilliant, "Make Me Pure" the beautiful "Advertising Space" and the strikingly honest "The Trouble With Me."
His new writing partnership with Stephen Duffy is in my opinion a great success, and has resulted in a much more mature album full of great, thought provoking lyrics which he delivers in such a heart-felt manner with all the swagger, wit and bravado that we associate with Robbie's work.
If the United States aren't interested in his work then, to be honest, it's their loss and our gain, as he is the most charismatic and dynamic artist of his generation, and the release of his latest album only reinforces this.
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on 23 October 2005
Wow, those reviews are interesting, you cant have heard the album properly before its even released... and besides, dont all the best albums get better with time? What I've heard of this album so far is really good, some of his best songs yet with a definate increase in originality. I watched him live in berlin last night and he blew the whole crowd away with new material, he had the audience in the palm of his hand... surely something that can only be done by such a rare talent.
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on 22 October 2005
Listened to the album and at 1st i wasn't blown away. However, 2nd & 3rd time of listening, this is a truly amazing album. Granted, there doesn't seem to be any standout commercial hits but I am sure there will be a couple though because of who Robbie is......a fantastic artist. Keep up the good work
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on 17 November 2005
I've listened to this album three times now, and it's a real grower. The thing that has struck me the most is that, lyrically, it's a departure from his last album in as much as he isn't up his own backside. Gone is the "Look at me, and look at how good I am and so far above you plebs I am" mentality with this set of songs, which for me is definitely a good thing. Having seen the Take That documentary last night, it does appear that Robbie can get too big for his boots, but this album brings him back to reality. Maybe that is the influence of Stephen Duffy ??
Anyway, highlights of the album for me are "Make Me Pure", "Advertising Space" (probably the next single) and "A Place to Crash".
If you buy this album, Robbie fan or not, you won't be disappointed.
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on 30 October 2005
Intensive Care is once more a new sound from Robbie, no two of his albums sound the same and this album fits well into that legacy.
There is calmness to this album that the others lacked and while this can be interpreted as a bad thing for Robbie I can find no fault. The album is beautifully conceived and constructed and thought there is less diversity to the tracks the core of the album is strong and fulfilling.
I can't pick a favorite song from the album, but Sin Sin Sin, The Trouble With Me and Advertising space stand out to me as the most 'Robbie' like in terms of lyrics and his cheeky but poignant commentary. Tripping and Make me pure are not the sum total of this album, but they are two superior tracks.
This album has very quickly become one I love to listen to; at work, in the car or at home. For some it maybe an album that grows on you, but listen to the album as a whole, not each track as a separate entity, and the Robbie we all know and love is defiantly apparent.
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on 5 January 2006
Apart from Robbie's Greatest Hits album, this is the only one of his that I own, so I don't know how it rates compared to the other albums like Swing when you're Winning, Escapology etc. However I do know that this is a great album filled with lots of potential singles; I actually think he chose some quite odd ones to release first instead of the really catchy ones. If you quite liked the latest songs like Trippin' and Advertising Space, (which are fantastic admittedly) then you will love the rest of the album. I love songs like 'Place to Crash' and 'Your Gay Friend'.
I don't think many people can dislike Robbie Williams and I think everyone should own one of his albums, and I'd start with this one. The Greatest Hits is, naturally, amazing so buy that too and listen to all Robbie's older songs like the beautiful 'Angels' and 2 new (then) tracks Misunderstood and Radio.
But back to this CD - it's filled with beautiful songs with great melodies and catchy hooks with literally no fillers. It really is a great album, if a little different to his older stuff.
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