The UK's biggest pop artist returns with his first album of original material since 2000's "Sing When You're Winning." Now, after selling and selling and SELLING copies of this latest release in his homeland, he's set his sights on American audiences once again, coming April 1st. Will the latest trend in quirky, original, "artists actually wrote it themselves" music help Robbie finally gain airplay, Billboard success, and US respect? We will have to see. In the meantime, here's what the UK version of Escapology has to offer. (NOTE: The American CD track list is slightly different.)
This album can be best-described as typical Robbie. It's his mixture of pop-driven songs that win over fans and highly opinionated tracks that might shock a first-time listener. He uses a variety of sounds and different genres; from the bluesy piano/guitar concoction Feel to the catchy acoustic self-appreciation cut Handsome Man. Also find a bit of disco (Hot Fudge), hard rock (Monsoon, Song 3, Cursed), mariachi (Me and My Monkey), grandiose Angels-esque choir style (Love Somebody), and simple unplugged (Nan's Song). While there is obvious experimentation with instruments, each song's lyrical content is unmistakably Robbie: brash, true, and clever. On the whole, the album is great. The highlight song for me was Something Beautiful, a great addictive pick-me-up.
Since "Sing When..", it doesn't seem like Robbie has broken much new ground. He has maintained remarkable consistency between these two albums. His real test will be his next album. Since parting ways with his right-hand-man composer Guy Chambers, he's got to prove that he can carry on and still churn out hits. I hope this pressure works positively for him, pushing him to work hard to generate his best material ever. Again, we will have to see.