ALBUM REVIEW: ROBBIE WILLIAMS LIFE THRU A LENS

Let’s get this straight from the start – Take That were pure unadulterated dogsh*t. I make no apologies for that statement- they were quite simply F$%^ing awful – look at what they started – Boyzone, 911, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls…..need I say more??….All manufactured mince.

Williams was the only one who had any balls and made an article on T.T. interesting- any of the others just made you want to slit your wrists to get away from them. Williams was the rebel, the one who wanted to get drunk, party it up, and he said so, did it and got kicked out. By not conforming to Nigel Martin-Smith’s instructions (T.T. manager/’inventor’), he was deemed unruly, unsuitable and was unceremoniously cast aside.

6 months later, T.T. was no more – a nation mourned/celebrated, and Williams started his rebirth. Admittedly he lost his way, got too carried away enjoying himself and went into rehab/ therapy etc., but he come through and the better for it. His debut album is surprisingly good, although it does contain a couple of turkeys where he tries to slip into Barlow ballad mode ((with the notable exception of ‘ Angles‘). By now you will have all heard the Kiss-Pinball Wizard-rock shocker ‘ Let Me Entertain You‘, along with the likes of the guitar orientated singles ‘Lazy Day’s‘,’Old Before I Die‘,’South of the Border’(9 should have been a bigger hit) and the aforementioned ‘ Angels‘, so I won’t bother focusing on these songs, other than to say they’re entertainingly good rock pop tracks.

What I will say is that offering such as the title track, ‘Ego A Go-Go‘ and One of God’s Better People‘ add credence to the album as a worthwhile addition to your record collection.

The album is mainly guitar orientated, oozing with lyrics which are a mixture of humour (‘Mix with the local gentry and don’t crash Tarquin’s Bently’-‘Life thru’a Lens’), T.T. digs (‘ now you’ve gone solo, do you still hate me, could you offer an apology’-‘Ego A Go Go‘)references to his post T.T. problems (‘days would start with wine’-‘Clean’, I can’t go on alone pretending nothing wrong’-Killing Me’)) and his subsequent triumph (9’I know that life won’t break me’-‘angels’,’I’m clean….friends with Mr Sheen….don’t have to wean myself off anything’-‘Clean’), He even manages a pop at an old schoolmaster in a 1 1/2 minute poignant hidden track at the end of the album (‘the one who said I wouldn’t amount to much….negative dickheads just like you….bollocks sir, now kiss my ass’)) along with some incisive sleeve notes to various friends and past ‘acquaintances’ which make humorous reading.

Williams lyrics ( co written with exWorld Party Guy Chambers) show an honesty seldom seen, dripping with vulnerability, emotion, showmanship and assertiveness. Williams has come through from the meaningless-throwaway-pop-fake land to the real world and is looking a good bet to be entertaining us for many years to come.

Taken from Scotland Calling (Scottish Music Network)