Robbie Williams – The Heavy Entertainment Show | Album review
November 8, 2016
Robbie Williams returns to the pop scene after revisiting the 1930s with his international hit Balance on both sides. In The heavy entertainment show, he returns to his favorite arena of the docile and provocative britpop. This time the ‘bold comeback’, as opposed to 2012 Take the crown, sees co-writer and producer Guy Chambers by his side again, and with an explosion of confidence, they produce a retro-pop hodgepodge of epic proportions.
Unlike recent incarnations of contemporary pop stars like Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake, whose styles have evolved to become more nuanced and avant-garde, Williams goes back in time for the bombastic big band and bubbly rock’n’roll music of the years. 70. and 80. Songs like Heavy entertainment show and Sensational sound like the grand finale of a cheesy Broadway show, performed by a stage rock band.
Williams’ talent has always shone in his personal moments, which he made sure to include in this album with the added bonus of a Coldplay style number. When you know and the sincere David’s song, dedicated to his recently deceased manager. On the other hand, the bachelor Party like a Russian is an attempt at political satire – a topic quite removed from the league of former Take That members, especially when he targets a nation he has little or no personal knowledge of. While the music is certainly earworm material, it’s no surprise the singer explains in a recent interview on BBC Breakfast that the track was born out of a lack of songwriting ideas.
A refreshing exception, perhaps, to the album’s generally overcrowded sound, could be Crazy hotel, his collaboration with Rufus Wainwright. It’s a smoothly produced mix of cinematic blues, peppered with trippy tremolos, reverbs and weird dissonances – a dark digression from Williams’ usual bright pop style.
The heavy entertainment show cries out for attention, missing the impression he’s dying to give. What is the singer celebrating so powerfully, one might ask. Is he self-deprecating or blatantly bombastic when he sings, messianically, “Bathe in the light that I give”? Apparently the world has been looking for “a savior” and here it is, and “all the best die so quickly” – vanityingly, Williams tries to make up for the pop culture deaths of 2016 with perhaps a little too much enthusiasm.
The heavy entertainment show comes out on 4e November 2016, for more information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Party like a Russian here:
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