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A Coming of Age for the Veteran of Pop/Rock
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.