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 13 March 2014
Life thru a lens and I've been expecting you were entertaining and at times clever records.
One must admit it.
Some of the songwriting was some of the best examples of how you write a pop song.
But a time comes and goes and you must move on...Robbie Williams never did.
Since 2001 he has been repeating the same album over and over while providing a different cover making it look like a completely different album.
This album, at least is less annoying than the joke he put out before which was Rudebox and the Intensive Care album, records so boring you could fall asleep to them.
At least...he should a vast improvement on his Reality Video star 2009 album. But it wasn't a rock record, it was a pop record and still had that annoying disco electronic nonsense from the album before.
This album doesn't improve on the record before, it goes back to what he was doing before.
Candy...is a bizarre song, its an okay pop tune. But the rest of the record isn't half as entertaining as that song.
Different is okay. Some of the others is just nonsense...Be a Boy and Gospel are just rubbish.
Some that made the Under the radar were left off this album, and its obvious they should of been on here.
Losers of course is the big hit. A song about staying in and not going out anymore....how thrilling.
Of course the best songs are missed off, on the deluxe version (deluxe being 2 extra songs)
Reverse and Eight letters should of replace "On the radio" and "Not like the others" which are just filler songs.
Sorry, not so great. Go listen to Under the radar or Life thru a lens again...until next time.
Robbie Williams should concentrate on sounding like Oasis and The Manic Street Preachers, its where his strengths are...."Angels" "Old Before I Die" "Clean" "Ego go go".......are examples.
Also b sides "I am the resurrection" "Average B Side" "I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing" are more examples.
on 14 November 2012
I've had this album since the day of release, and I'm writing a review as I can't believe there are only 2 reviews!!
As a massive Robbie fan I'm always hopeful of a great selection of songs, and usually he doesn't let me down, and hasn't on 'Take The Crown'
The very catchy 'Candy' is not a reflection of the rest of the album, which doesn't mean the other material isn't catchy, but it's not in the same style. Lots of tracks that wouldn't be out of place on 'Life Thru a Lens' or 'Escapology'. My own favourite on here is 'Not Like The Others' but there are other stand out tracks too, especially 'Different', 'Hunting For You' and 'Be A Boy'. I have the deluxe version which has two extra tracks (including 'Eight Letters' which Robbie sings here without the TT boys) and a great little DVD extra thrown in, showing the making of the 'Candy' video and some other footage of Robbie making the album.
It's obvious the Robster is in a good place at the moment, and his confidence in this record reflects that. Long may it continue. Can't wait for the tour!
'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...