on 24 November 2002
Anybody who has seen the Robbie Williams Bare-all documentary 'Nobody Someday' should realise the significance of this album. After the tear jerking confessions that Mr Williams hates every part of being a popstar, you begin to realise why he took that wonderful year off for "Swing When you're Winning" and why he appeared so very happy at the Albert Hall.
Escapology, then, is his first coming of age album, from mild (but brilliant) pop to serious soft rock...but labels are misleading. This is still very much Robbie, even if some songs are a little misguided (the apparently deliberate non-commercial nature of opener 'How Peculiar' for example).
'Love Somebody' and 'Monsoon' are a relatively new era in RW history, bringing much more of his beloved rock sound into the scheme of things. Much of the album, for me, has the reminiscence of Chris Cornell's first solo effort Euphoria Morning, especially in the catchy 'Something Beautiful'.
The experimenting with different genres and sounds is typical of an album such as this which is more of a statement of freedom than a true attempt at art. It makes the prospect of the next Robbie Williams album all the more exciting. Whether you love or hate this album, one must commend Mr. Williams for having the strength to do something not everyone will like, and may even alienate his audience a little. That said, it is well worth a listen; a few rotations will have you humming along in no time.
So the Robster returns with a new band and a totally new writing direction. This album will appeal both to RW fans and also people who have previously found his music lightweight or over produced.
What we have here is a simply superb collection of earthy, well written and supremely executed songs in a variety of styles.
"Something Beautiful" is pure USA radio friendly pop, "Monsoon" is one of a few inward looking songs on the album, this one being a message to his army of female fans and the groupies he has "met" in the Biblical sense.
The chorus of most songs on the album is absolutely massive and masterful and Robbie will do well to meet another writer with the musical power that Guy Chambers obviously has.
Other stand out tracks on the album include the Queen-esque "Love Somebody", "Handsome Man" which is perhaps the albums lyrical centrepiece and source of great humour, the battle with drugs and drink as portrayed in "Come Undone", the hidden meaning in "Me and My Monkey" and the extraordinarily moving "Nans Song".
All of the tracks sound as if they were recorded live and the sampling present on previous albums has matured and been removed by earthy, radio friendly and classy rock instrumentation. Gary Nuttall, the bands guitarist, should also be applauded for his superb guitar work throughout the album that really is masterful in some parts and World class in all.
All in all a truly superb collection of mature and powerful rock songs drizzled with the usual lashings of humour and a mature Robbie - who will surely conquer all including the lucrative USA market. Again.
on 27 December 2002
For a couple of years now I have read about this guy in the tabloids and consequently didnt take the time to listen to his music. Escapology is brilliant. How can the same 'awful' guy in the tabloids have written 'Feel', 'Monsoon' and the best song of all 'Come Undone'? The songs are emotive and ironical and the music reminds me of English pop of old, (before such mediocrity as Spice Girls etc.) Here is a guy with much talent who takes his music seriously. He will be around for many more years. I for one will be buying his previous releases and hope they are as good as this one.
on 18 November 2002
This is not exactly what you'll be expecting from RW.
When I heard the new single "Feel", I wasn't too sure if this album was even going to compare to "Sing When You're Winning", his worst album so far (not saying it's really bad, just a little weaker.)
I was happy to be wrong - this is his best album so far. The break from pop, while he was swinging, has done Robbie the world of good.
The tone of this album suits his voice a lot more than his previous outings (Swing When You're Winning excluded!).
While the first track isn't the best, and could easily be compared to a weak Oasis song, from the second track "Feel", the album is simply fantastic.
Some of the standout tracks include "Something Beautiful" a really catchy tune and "Monsoon" a possible the anthem of the album (as "Strong" was from "I've Been Expecting You").
"Me and My Monkey" is strange to listen to at first, but it's good to hear something different like this from Robbie. The mexican sound is fantastic - and the story is great. Especially when they meet "Rodreiguez".. and the ending is all up to you to decide!
As always there are some exceptional ballads included such as "Sexed Up" - a hopeless acoustic love song.
There's also a brilliant duet in there with Rose Stone, a really laid back soulful track - one that will demand the lighters during the inevitable tour.
The album ends with "Nan's Song", which according to RW is the first song that he has completely written, about his Nan. It's a nice slow acoustic song.
This is a fantastic album, and shows how far Robbie has come in the past few years, and how diverse a singer he is, especially in coming back to mainstream pop after the amazing "Swing When You're Winning".
Go out buy it - it's the perfect Christmas present, for everyone. I haven't stopped listening to it since I bought it.
on 28 November 2002
Well, its certain, this is Rob's best album yet! Although I must admit, you need to listen to it a couple of times before it grabs you, but when it does you wont want it to let you go, its fantastic!
While 'Feel' is probably my favourite track, 'Love Somebody' and 'Monsoon' come a very, very close second, closely followed by the rest. There isn't one track I hit skip on, its just brilliant.
Living in the USA has obviously done him good, its got a new feel of energy to it and he sings from his soul, and all the songs make sense! There are a couple of light hearted ones in there to make you smile, like 'Me and my Monkey', and the others.......just close your eyes and let them take you.
Definately got to add this one to your collection people, I promise you will not be disappointed.
This one has to score 11 out of 10, can't wait for the next one already!
WELL DONE MR WILLIAMS........you have proved yourself to all those non-believers.
on 18 November 2002
That Williams will continue to deliver after this album without the aid of song-writing partner Guy Chambers remains to be seen; meantime, sit back and enjoy their joint efforts on this, the 5th Robbie Williams album.
A laid-back opening track ("How Perculiar") belies what is in store as we are presented with such like-it-first-time tracks as the Manic Street Preachers-influenced "Feel" (also the first single), an Elton John-esque "Something Beautiful", followed by (dare I say it?) an Oasis-inspired "Monsoon". There is a reprise as the acoustic "Sexed-up" reduces the tempo before the stadium-anthem "Love Somebody" demonstrates the versatility and emotional input of Robbie's voice. "Revolution" is a soulful duet, whilst "Handsome Man" performs a cheeky parody of the Williams alter-ego. All his albums have an "Angels", which comes in the form of "Come Undone" and shows Robbie at his baring-all best. "Me and My Monkey" is a cheerful (if slightly too long) tune, whereas the rock-groove, 70's influences of "Hot Fudge" make up for a disappointing "Song 3". "Nans Song" sees Robbie's first self-penned effort, and, although not the best track, certainly warrants inclusion.
Undoubtedly, the plethora of die-hard Robbie fans will ensure this is yet another chart-topper, although I believe Robbie Williams has matured as both songwriter and artist and deserves the wider audience this album targets. Listen and enjoy.
on 6 June 2003
Right, lets just set things straight, i'm not a music critic or expert, but i am a music fan, and what an album this is. Robbies best album by far. Still a bit of cheese here an there but hey it's Robbie. I've listened to this album for 6 months now and it's never been out of my hi-fi. Ignore all the negative reviews. Track one is a bit weak but from then onwards it's just sheer bliss. I can't pick a favourite cause i love them all (track 1 excluded!) There's everything you need here, ballards, soft rock, rock, pop, and of coarse robbies fantastic sarcasm and attitude, also his ever growing humbleness!! ha. I own over 200 albums from the likes of oasis to mettalica, from david gray to eminem, and never has my music been so neglected since December when i purchased this album. Might sound like i'm kissing his ass,trust me i'm not, some of his earlier work was a little passe for my liking but Escapology is an incredible achievment. The best i have heard? So far yes. Will i be listening to it in 5 years? I hope so. Is any artist worth 80 million you might think? This one is!!
on 29 December 2002
Robbie Williams has demonstrated a far deeper and creative side to his music now that he has become mainstream. Sure, his earlier three albums were great, and catchy, but following his Swing When You're Winning album, and to maintain his new legion of adult fans, Robbie has written a far more mature album, which is not so simplistic and shallow as his earlier efforts.
The heart-wrenching 'Feel', is deep and emotive, the clever use of phrases like i dont want to die/ but am not keen on living either/ portrays the new Robbie William's in a new light. This was the first single.
Other noticeable tracks include Come Undone, which deals with society's inadequacies- /"they're selling razor blades and mirrors in the streets"/.
'Me and My Monkey' is humorous, and similar to his Swing When You're Winning effort, trumpets, strings and all. It is long, however sustains the listener well.
'Revolution' is soulful and raw, combining the talents of Rose Stone and Robbie himself into an enjoyable duet.
'Hot Fudge' deals with the plastic and fakeness that is LA. Robbie obviously soaked up some of the atmosphere when he lived there and recorded this album, and it deals with the attitudes of the people, in lines like 'cant find me a virgin/ but i'll get you a surgeon, 24 hours a day/'
The record demonstrates Robbie William's remarkable talents, and also shows that he will continue to improve as the albums go by. This album however is a breakthrough for him as a songwriter, it is new, fresh, cutting edge (for himself that is), and above all mature. Gone are the days of 'Rock DJ' and 'Let Me Entertain You', think 'Supreme', 'Let Love Be Your Energy' and 'No Regrets'. One thing is for sure however with this album, if you like Robbie, you wont regret buying it, not one little bit.
on 8 November 2002
Robbie is back and with a vicious vengeance! This latest offering starts hard and stays rocky all the way through. The vocoder opening of "How Peculiar" is a new sound for Robbie, reminiscent of a Stones number, when Jagger was at his best. Robbie takes a deep breath and launches into some odd lyrics.
Track 2, "Feel" settles into a more Williams-like sound, a quicker number in the mould of "Road to Mandalay". "Something Beautiful", more RnB than rock; Hammond organ, backing group, horns, deep bass guitar et al. "Monsoon" is the anthem on this album for me. It bounces along with lines like "I've sung some songs that were lame, I've slept with girls on the game”. It's a rock anthem.
The "slowies" come next, "Sexed Up" is one of two real ballads. I think there must be something in the contract for this kind of track to appear on each album! It's catchy...but no "Angels". "Love Somebody" is more orchestrated and instantly reminded me of a Lloyd-Weber rock musical number. Maybe more plays will get that out of my head!
"Revolution" is pure RnB. A duet with the talented Ms Dynamite, works well, although she sounds more at home in this style than our man. Still, a laid back, cool sound and hopefully a future single.
Track 8, "Handsome Man" is back to an old Robbie sound and attitude. "I'm gonna milk it 'til I turn it into cheese" he sings. Would fit in well with earlier Robbie material. "Come Undone" is another of Robbie's now famous self-parodies. Treading the thin line between being clean and falling back off the wagon.
"Me & My Monkey" is a highlight for me. At over 7 minutes long, I believe the longest Robbie album track so far, telling a story of addiction, downward spirals and hardship.
"Song 3" is all about guitars and noise. Perhaps a homage to the Blur track of a quite similar name...? You can just picture Robbie bouncing all over the stage to this one. Sure to be a crowd pleaser. "Hot Fudge" comes next. A track that I have played several times already and I cannot get "Boogie Nights" out of my head, seeing Mark Wahlberg dancing to this, thumbs out etc.
"Cursed" is another hard-sounding track, guitars dominating throughout, punctuated by slower bridges, before the rock sound jumps back in.
The last official track, "Nans Song" was quite obviously written about Robbie's relationship with his Nan. Like "Sexed Up", it's just him and a guitar and well worth a listen, just to hear the real Robbie underneath the showman.
on 10 January 2005
OK, well you may or may not already own some of Rob's previous albums. Well, this is by far up to his previous standards. After a year off, a lot was expected of him and what he was going to bring back with him.
We start the album with the catchy bouncy How Peculiar. It may not be a classic, but it's a good song, and it's upbeat enough to make you want to keep listening.
Next is an "Angels'esque" Feel. This song is beautifully written and sung, and surely by now you should know it very well!
Something Beatiful is another bouncy song with some very nice Rob/Guy/(everyone else) lyrics. This song was the basis of a Channel4 tv programme Something Beautiful (where they auditioned for 3 Robbie Williams's to be in his video. One on them is female....ACE!)
Monsoon is truely an homage to Queen and the influence they have on him. With a brilliant band, and lyrics discussing kiss and tells, (he has been in just a few of them!) and love really. a fantastic song which is just amazing to see live.
Sexed up - although this song goes on for 30 seconds or so to long for me, it is a very heartfelt song about breaking up with someone. Personally I prefer the demo (found as a B-Side to Lazy Days)
I adore Love Somebody. I think that it is beautiful, but hey, I'm a soppy romanticist! This orchestral song is wonderfully sung, with the maturity of having down some swing shining through here.
Revolution is a duet which is again nice, but not one of my favourites, but their voices are well matched.
Handsome Man tickles me pink! On the surface this song is an absolute piss take of Robbie Williams the popstar seen from Rob the persons point of view. However, deep down there is a message that Rob really does need his fans, and of desperation. This bouncy song has some ace lyrics!
Come Undone is a dichotomy of Rob. Absolute classic where he picks himself apart and shows the world how he sees himself.
Me and My Monkey - immensely long train of thought. Don't try and work out the meaning it will drive you insane!
Song 3 - amazing band again. Rob goes for the rock "look" this time, but in a good way still. We do get a bit of screaming!
Hot Fudge is another crod bopper - Rock DJ stylee!
Cursed is a sad song about a friend who died with some amazing lyrics.
Nans Song touches the hearts of anyone who has ever lost anyone.
All in all, I think Rob has matured and this album is ace playing with every type of song possible, and I think that Come Undone is a brilliant song and just goes to prove that everything that Rob does isn't just Guy Chambers because he had nothing to do with that track. If you're going to buy this album you have to buy Feel - his new book! A last piece of info - i've owned the album since it came out and it has barely left my stereos!