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on 2 December 2013
Every time you buy a copy of this mindless cliche-ridden trash you are giving money to someone who loves Britain so much he, along with such scum as Jimmy Carr and many of the employees of the BBC, avoids paying as much tax as he possibly can whilst you all have to pay such because you are on P.A.Y.E. and cannot avoid it. In fact we all pay more, often on a paltry wage than he has ever paid in his life. No doubt he expects the Police, the Fire Services or the Ambulance Service to rush to his aid as soon as he needs them - he just wants YOU to pay for them. People like him bring nothing to this country and take everything out of it. If he was an MP you would be heaping invective on him and demanding action. Funny isn't it.
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on 10 December 2013
Why do people look upon Gary Borelow as some sort of god? Yes, he can play the piano, but his songwriting skills leave alot to be desired. You know the next line of a song before you've even heard it - very predictable!!!
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on 25 November 2013
I am very disappointed by this album, nothing new it's the same old thing being made, very boring! Don't buy it spend your money on something alot better you will regret it if you buy this.
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on 1 December 2013
Since I Saw You Last showcases Gary's skills as a mature songwriter, who's been through a lot in his life and who's used his latest album as a vehicle to empty his heart for his fans and to exorcise some demons. He's literally wearing his heart on his sleeve in each song. Lyrically, this is the best work he's done both solo and with Take That, simply because the words sound sincere and not forced. The poignant ballad Dying Inside is a fair example of a man trying to say how he felt after the tragic loss of his daughter, Poppy- the best track on the album, in my opinion. On the verses, the voice is accompanied solely by the piano, but once he breaks into falsetto on the chorus and middle eight, you can hear a cello in the background,adding gravitas to a voice that sounds like that of a mourning man. God is equally introspective and Gary has to be applauded for including a song so strongly meditative and spiritual, in an age where religion is considered outdated and far removed from music. This is the sign of a man who does an album mainly for himself, without caring about what is expected from him. He says himself: "I've accepted that I won't be in fashion" - and to that I say "Thank the Lord!".
Requiem - one of the most Beatles-esque songs on the album - was inspired by the sudden loss of his father in 2009. People would expect this to be a sad, depressing song; on the contrary, Gary knows how to turn things around without slipping on the dark side - the point of view is that of the person who passed away. The lyrics are quite funny if you imagine the deceased telling the loved ones: "You die if you see my new place". Lyrics very profound and full of meaning, but very witty and funny at the same time.
The ballads on the album are at a higher standard than those on the Beautiful World album and never once can they be accused of being cheesy. Jump is the song that would fit perfectly on any Take That album. It's once again the highly personal content that prevents them from being cheesy. For people who are unaware of Gary's lifestory, this album may go right over their heads, but for anyone who knows what his wife Dawn and his children mean to him, songs like More Than Life - which is probably the response to Nobody Else, a song written for his parents, that he now wants to replicate as a song about him and Dawn - and This House tell the story of his salvation and of true life.
The album is very well balanced. Whoever says that it's an album full of ballads couldn't be more wrong. Let Me Go - a song written in the vein of Johnny Cash (not Mumford and Sons, which can easily be proven, since Gary had already written the folk song, Up All Night, by the time Mumford and Sons were being formed, which excludes them as a source of inspiration), Actress, Mr. Everything, Small Town Girls, The Song I'll Never Write, This House, Face to Face - the brilliant tribute and duet to/with Elton John are all up-tempo songs (even though sometimes the up-tempo is used to counterbalance the heavy, dark lyrics).
The songs on this album are not the stadium anthems that Take That accustomed us to, but that can only be a good thing. It comes a time when overproduced songs don't appeal anymore and this album offers a very enchanting alternative: classic songs, that stir away from the shallow pop and that should be listened to over and over again. This is not an album for radios - apart from Let Me Go and Face to Face -, it's not an album for stadiums or clubs, it's simply an album designed with no other purpose than for fans to enjoy the music.
Gary's voice sounds amazing on this album, because it's acquired a raspiness that he lacked in his youth, but that really suits the mature style of his songs.
There are not enough good words to say about this album. The 14 years wait was all worth it and not only does the album not disappoint,but it also exceeds all expectations.
I would not recommend it to non-fans, because I don't know if they are able to appreciate this album at its true value.

Standout tracks: Dying Inside, God, Jump, Requiem, Since I Saw You Last, 6th Avenue, The Song I'll Never Write, but the entire album is brilliant.
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on 21 January 2014
Elvis. The Beatles. The Rolling Stones. The Sex Pistols. The Clash.The Jam.The Smiths. Joy Division. Arctic Monkeys. The next name in this sequence should not, under any circumstances be Gary Effing Barlow. In 60 years Rock n Roll has progressed fom the dangerous and exciting, to the X Factor, which GEB wears like a 3 piece suit and this. This being the blandest most characterless, vacuous slice of corporate dull-rock you will ever hear. GEB, the personality free talent vacuum, the smug, self satisfied egomaniac and failed beard grower, I don't hate you. I hate what you stand for. I hate your world domination. Mostly though, I hate your work, infused as it is with the false sense of superiority and unbearable fixed smile "sincerity". I haven't heard this album. I hope I never do. I don't need to.A man who was old before his time, the cut price tasteless sausagemeat of modern music.I know what this sounds like. It sounds like well produced soup. It sounds like death. It stinks to high heaven.
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on 10 December 2013
Only buy this rubbish if you want to help Gary pay his tax bill. Oh, how remiss of me, he doesn't pay any tax!
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on 29 November 2013
Mr. Barlow has lived something of a hermit lifestyle since the horribly tearful demise of Takes That in late 1993 and it's no surprise to see the gritty black and white cover art featuring our Hero looking the very picture of a man who saw the true horrors that 90's boyband stardom had to offer. I feared we had heard the last from Britain's National Treasure Gary, but fear not fellow fans, Barlow is back and, might I quip, "Back For Good"! Haha!

It seems the intervening years of solitude and despair have taken their toll on Gareth. We no longer hear the falsetto of an angel, instead G's vocal pallete is more comparable to a back-firing, rusted traction engine. Don't get me wrong fans, I mean that as a compliment. Gaz is in fine-fettle here.

Apart from the voice, Mr. Barlow's other strength has always been his seemingly effortless ability to write a boss tune (a look back at his most famous output includes the theme tunes to Casualty, Antiques Roadshow and Homes Under The Hammer, not to mention his drum n bass remix of the Moldovan national anthem which has since been adopted by the country for all sporting events and state funerals), yes, this simple Northern lad can write one heck of a bangin' tune alright and that is in evidence on this, his latest offering.

Here is my track-by-track analysis of the new album (please note this is just my take on Gar's often cryptic lyrics - like to think I'm pretty spot on though):

1. Requiem - orchestral opener, loosely based on the theme to the short-lived late 90's Channel 4 series 'Watercolour Challenge', originally composed by Gary himself.

2. Let Me Go - recounts a particular feisty game of British Bulldogs back in the Takes That days, during which Jason Oranges had our Gary in a headlock for over 3hrs, only letting go as they were due to perform live on Pebble Mill.

3. Jump - recalls Gary's little-known appearance in the 1997 European Athletics Championships, representing Moldova in the long-jump - payment in kind for his remix of the national anthem. Sadly, our Gary placed second to last, suffering a sprained ankle from which (as keen-eyed fans will no doubt have noticed) he still has a slight limp.

4. Face To Face (with Elton John) - harrowing tale of the time Gary and Elton endured a 3 day stare out competition following a dispute over who was the best songwriter. Needless to say, Elton won.

5. God - heartfelt prayer from our Gary, asking for world peace and an end to M&S's 5p charge for using a carrier bag.

6. Small Town Girls - amusing ditty about a Northern town where apparently all the female inhabitants are below 4'11.

7. 6th Avenue - spoken word, listing in chronological order the various building numbers found on New York's 6th Avenue, from 1 all the way to 1,386. Bit boring to be honest but improves with repeat listens.

8. We Like To Love - heart-wrenching love song featuring TV's Dave Benson Phillips on backing vocals.

9. Since I Saw You Last - centrepiece of the album, where Barlow sets to music the diaries he kept in the decade following Takes That's grisly end. Bit of a slow burner, encompassing a decades worth of bitter regret (the song lasts a shade over 3 hours), but it's all there, Gary laid bare. One for the true fans amongst you.

10. This House - this lighthearted number ponders the months Gary dedicated following Takes That's gruesome break up, to carving a to-scale replica of Rob William's house out of Cathedral City mature farmhouse cheddar. Gary spent the ensuing months living in the house, trying to eat his way out. This proved too mammoth a task however, so instead, G kindly donated the remaining cheddar to Help The Aged, along with 6 million jars of Branston's pickle. The nation's elderly continue to enjoy a daily "Garywich" as they've affectionately become known, to this day.

11. Dying Inside - deeply emotional ballad based on Gary's darkest days following the Takes That split. Here he reveals how he spent 7 years holed up in a Scarborough B&B dying his entire wardrobe jet black. There's a cruel twist in the tail however when Gary sadly discovers that annoying thing where the stitching in his clothes resists the dye and remains the original colour! (Album highlight).

12. More Than Life - upbeat funeral dirge.

To sum up this exquisite work from Britain's best boy band burn-out become brill:

Buy it. Listen to it. Then listen to it a second time (possibly skipping tracks 7 and 9 if they're not your bag).
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on 22 May 2015
I think Gary Barlow has come into his own since splitting with the band,makes written some great times and this is one of them!
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on 3 December 2013
Barlow is a prolific songwriter, yet after listening to all three of his solo efforts it seems he sells his best work to other artists. I was hoping for the same type of progressiveness evinced on Take That's most recent efforts; however, Barlow (who seems genuine in his writing) bogs this album down with too many listless ballads. In fact, aside from "Let Me Go" must of the album is dirge-like until "Since I Last Saw You." (Hmmm, a coincidence that the opening number is "Requiem"?) For me, this CD goes up for resale after I download two or three songs. I guess I was hoping for something a little different.
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on 22 February 2015
When the original version of Take That came to an end, it was the solo career of Robbie Williams that really took off. Once the remaining members, older and wiser and with a more mature sound, returned, it was Gary Barlow who really benefitted. Since that comeback he has been awarded an OBE, helped arrange the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and become a judge on a musical talent show that does more to boost the careers of the judges than of the supposed winners. With the BBC asking Barlow to host New Year and calling him "a bona fide national treasure", it seems strange now to think that his last full solo album, "12 months, 11 days", was actually a bit of a flop way back in 1999 and that he more or less vanished for the best part of a decade.

"Since I Saw You Last" sums up Gary Barlow's musical career quite nicely, in that it showcases perfectly how much stronger he is as part of the unit that is Take That, with licence to be a little more expansive in the pop framework they work to and with a slightly weak vocal buried in with four (or sometimes three) others. The best moments here are the ones you could see him performing with the group and the weakest are the ones you couldn't see them touching. It almost feels as if his first love is the group that made him and he saves his best moments for them, feeling a little directionless and lost without them.

That said, there are some decent moments here and whilst too many songs fall into the middle of the road area Barlow treads so well, there are more tracks that stand out as being fairly decent than do for being awful. The track listing also helps and there is more thought gone into that than on most albums, with the ballads being interspersed with more upbeat and up-tempo tracks to allow for a decent amount of variation as the album progresses. Barlow may be better at working with others than he is at working for himself, but this is an album that offers reasonable value on a pounds per minute basis, with 12 tracks and 51 minutes of music. This is by no means a classic album, although it stands up well against Barlow's other solo work, even if it does leave you wishing for a Take That album instead.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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