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Life Thru A Lens


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Life Thru A Lens + I've Been Expecting You (Limited CD + DVD)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 19 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000006X41
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,491 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lazy Days
2. Life Thru a Lens
3. Ego A Go Go
4. Angels
5. South of the Border
6. Old Before I Die
7. One of God's Better People
8. Let Me Entertain You
9. Killing Me
10. Clean
11. Baby Girl Window

Product Description

Product Description

The former Take That leader's 1997 solo debut. 11 tracks, including the international hit singles 'Lazy Days', 'Angels', 'Old Before I Die' and 'Let Me Entertain You'.

Amazon.ca

When Life Thru A Lens came out, Robbie Williams was a swiftly-failing music industry joke--"Blobbie Pill-iams", the ballooning drug-freak, drunk and bleary-eyed at far too many parties for his own good. Although his cover of George Micheal's "Freedom" had gone in at Number 2, "Old Before I Die" and "South Of The Border" sounded too like weak-tea Oasis for any real chart action and people were starting to talk about him as a failure. Then the elegiac "Angels" with its simple black-and-white video hit MTV pay-dirt, and six months later Williams was picking up six BRIT Awards, showing off his post-rehab six-pack and dating an All Saint. And so the rest of Life Thru A Lens is a likeable, hyperactive stream of consciousness--much like Williams himself. "Lazy Days" is an unexpectedly gorgeous psychedelic swoon, and "Let Me Entertain You"--"When I'm Cleaning Windows" for the Hooch generation--is still an irresistible offer. --Caitlin Moran

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
I find it not easy to judge this album fairly for I began listening to it after purchasing the four later CDs from him. Undeniably this one is less powerful than other Robbie's megahits, but it's brilliant enough as a debut album. There were still resentment and uneasiness in his voice then. Nevertheless, I think everyone should commend Rob on his creativity and courage to release the album as he mocked on media explicitly and jeered his former partner from Take That but biggest enemy at that time- Gary Barlow. After so many years, songs like "Angels," "Old Before I Die," "Lazy Days," and so on still sound great to the ear, and Rob performs them regularly to keep those works alive.
Above all, if you're a loyal Rob fan, this one is a must-have to comprehend how his talent break out at the beginning. If not, I would recommend "I've Been Expecting You" or his latest "Escapology;" from them you can hear the genuine Rob style shine through.
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Format: Audio CD
I remember when I first heard of Take That. It was in a video for a song called "It Only Takes A Minute". They were still a brand new boy band in the footsteps of New Kids On The Block but they were british. Out of the five members, Robbie Williams stood out. He was the funniest, cheekiest member and he seemed to have more personality than the others. At the end of the video, there was Robbie pointing his finger up and crooning the line 'Just one minute...'. It was funny. 4 years later, Robbie left Take That and the future didn't seem too bright for the lad. He made several public appearances afterwards, one being as a host of the MTV Europe Awards in the fall of 1996. Prior to that Robbie had done a cover version of George Michael's Freedom. Not too impressing work there and more of a mockery of his boy band image. But Robbie struggled to change that. He hung out with Oasis, grew a goatie for a brief time, and began venturing into Rock music.
Old Before I Die was the first non-pop song Robbie came out with that was an original song that he wrote along with an unknown, Guy Chambers. Highly influenced by Britain's biggest rock band, Oasis, Robbie wanted if not needed to get into the new mainstream since boy band music became a joke. After months of slacking, but not really slacking, Robbie returned with a full length album titled 'Life Thru A Lens' in September of 1997. I think i was the only guy who bought that CD at a Music store in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. And for some crazy reason, i felt like i really wanted to love this album since it felt weird just to hear Robbie on his own and see what he can prove. I was impressed, no...more, I was taken completely by every song on the CD!
The opener struck a chord with me, 'Lazy Days' is a song about depression.
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Format: Audio CD
Robbie may have gone on to make better (or at least more consistently satisfying) albums, but 'Life thru a lens' will always retain pride of place in the hearts of us Robbiephiles, when, what could have been a self-pitying play for sympathy (especially after that misjudged first single, the cover of 'Freedom'), turned out not to need any excuses whatsoever.
At the time, cred-building Robbie was finding succour in then-popular Oasis, and their baleful influence can be seen on songs like 'Lazy Days' and 'South of the Border', although he brings his own alchemical ingredients, like 'imagination' and 'wit', though, sadly, not 'melody'. There are a couple of lovely ballads here ('One of God's better people', 'Baby Girl Window'), and 'Clean' is an amusingly self-mocking take on the pop star misbehaving in public (Robbie's lyrics are so endearingly naive in their confessional literalism they frequently become clever and truthful).
It is, of course, the magnificent singles that sustain 'Lens', all using Robbie's 60s/70s/showbiz fascinations with intelligence: the speedpop ranting title track; the pubrock humility of 'Old Before I die'; the simultaneously arrogant and gracious 'Let me entertain you', a Kiss-tribute rock dazzler that easily out-pummells its source. Oh, and a trifle called 'Angels', a song of staggering (emotional) maturity, a ballad whose poignancy arises from the recognition that happiness, never mind perfection, is an ungraspable dream: it is, quite simply, one of the ten best songs ever written.
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Format: Audio CD
I just got my copy of Life Thru a Lens. After wearing out I've Been Expecting You, I decided I had to hear some of Robbie's earlier stuff.
It took a bit of getting used to because I've grown accustomed to the more mature and sophisticated sound of Expecting You. But Lens is still all Robbie and in no time at all I was totally into it.
Angels, the classic is there in all its glory. The outrageous and totally infectious "Let Me Entertain You" makes you want to grab a hairbrush and pretend you have a crowd of thousands screaming at your feet.
But the real surprises here are the ones that weren't as popular. I love the groovy sound of "South of the Border" and "Killing Me" is so haunting but grabbing that sometimes I just play that track on repeat. And as someone who has lost a parent, I find the ballad "Baby Girl Window" comforting and reassuring.
"Ego a Go Go" is hilarious especially when you know the story behind it and the rivalry between Robbie and his former bandmate, Gary Barlow. It's a preview of the harder and more vindictive "Karma Killer" (on Expecting You) which was an angry memo from Robbie to his former manager the now notorious Nigel Martin Smith.
On a whole, Lens is but a preview of the extrodinary artist Robbie Williams has become and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
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