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
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 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 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!
on 17 February 2013
I have ALWAYS loved Robbie as a solo artist.... that is NOT with Take That as he was sorely under- used with his band.
As I review this fine album ( and it is.. in essence) Robbie has had his 39th Birthday Birthday. As a man he has grown up and as a Performer he has also grown. This is very much Robbie the mature man, you could say (To quote one of his songs...).'To be a )Better Man' and since becoming a Dad for the first time to a little girl, he has seen life so differently to those early days when his songs were 'so full of anger'. this is' Mature Pop'. Candy, the third song on the Cd is about a girl called Candice and her inner turmoil that she needs lots of material possessions (Horses etc) to help her feel less insecure....but she has no self esteem anyway) Its a great song a written with Gary Barlow (of course) and is so catchy. Almost in a school playground kinda way...(NahNah Nah NahNah) and his first solo no 1 since' Radio' in Oct 2004. (This was to be his 8th No 1 as such) Track 4 'Different' is also good but don't remember it making the Top 20 though. lets see about track 1 " Be a Boy" his new single?
It IS a good album (His 12th UK Album....2 greatest hits,,one Live album and 9 studio albums. Not a bad achievement for a lad that really failed ALL his school exams!!! he has been a pop star since his was 16!!
Just think HAD he passed all his exams he may have gone in to another Career and we wouldn't have him in our lives singing songs that sends shivers down one's spine. He is a fine entertainer, a good man and father and is handsome' to boot.' the fact that I am older than his Mum is beside the point!! I recommend it, not his best but still is a fine album THAT is why it made No1!!
'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...