I've actually had this album for a couple of weeks before the release date, so I'm completely immersed in it and ready to review it. By far, this is his best offering since Escapology. Intensive Care, while good, was a bit monotonous and slightly generic (although there were some outstanding tracks like Sin Sin Sin and Spread Your Wings). Rudebox was...well, I'm not exactly sure what Rudebox was. I actually liked that album, but it seemed odd that it was only released a year after Intensive Care, and the direction of the music caught everyone off guard. That said, tracks like "Lovelight", "Kiss Me", "Burslem Normals", etc. were really good.
So now, after a VERY long 3 year absence, Robbie has released Reality Killed The Video Star. The music is so good, I almost want more (speaking of which, WHERE are the b-sides??).
The album starts with "Morning Sun". This one was a grower for me. Supposedly, this is the song that was written about Michael Jackson. The song is a nice intro, and is very lush and grand. Actually, this one could have fit nicely into Intensive Care. (8/10) "Bodies" is up next, and I have to say, I like this song a lot more within the context of listening to the entire album. I wasn't crazy about it when I first heard it but now I love it. (9/10).
The third track is "You Know Me", which is the second single. While not the best song on the album, I can see why they chose this as the next single, with it's 1950's vibe, majestic piano, bells, and 'shoo-bee-doo bop-bop' background vocals, the song is bound to do well during the Christmas season. (8/10) Next up is "Blasphemy". This was another grower for me. It's a bit simple in the beginning but evolves into a warm, cinematic song. It's actually quite beautiful. (8.5/10)
Track 5 is "Do You Mind", and at first listen, this one might sound like filler, very similar to "A Place To Crash" from Intensive Care, complete with a Ba-Bab Ba-Dum guitar riff, but as soon as the bridge and chorus kick in, this one will be stuck in your head all day, It's very catch (8/10) "Last Days Of Disco" is the first of 2 electronic-inspired songs on the album. This one is very similar to "In And Out Of Love" (an unreleased song from circa 2007/2008), except a little darker. I like this one. (7.5/10)
"Somewhere" comes out of nowhere as a 1-minute interlude that ends right before you know what just happened. At first I didn't know what to think of it, but it's actually gown on me and i almost wish it was slightly longer (7/10)
Next up are my 2 favorite songs on the album, which have BOTH already cemented themselves in my top 10 Robbie Songs ever. Now THAT'S an accomplishment. "Deceptacon" is just plain gorgeous. If "Angels", "Love Calling Earth" and "Eternity" had a love orgy and had a baby, this would be it. The music is beautiful and the lyrics and mysterious. I love this track. I listen to it over and over. It might not be accessible for radio, but this track alone was worth the wait for this album for me. (10/10). "Starstruck" follows, and the beginning sounds like something that would play when you die and step into paradise. It's a very soulful pop track, similar to something George Michael would have recorded in the mid 90's. The "ready, steady go, everybody famous" lyric is probably the catchiest line in the whole album. This HAS to be the third single. (10/10)
"Difficult For Weirdos" is the second of the electronic-inspired tracks, and this one is the better of the two. This one is very similar to "Kiss Me" from Rudebox. Very dancey and addictive. I love it. (9/10)
Upon the first 2 listens of the whole album, "Superblind" was one of the least memorable. Not because it's bad by any means, maybe because it's towards the end and following 3 stellar tracks is a difficult task. But it's a nice, lovely song. Similar to "Love Calling Earth" from Sing When You're Winning, but a little more acoustic. (7.5/10)
"Won't Do That" is a nice closer. it's a slightly mid temp track, nothing spectacular but it's a nice sing-along track. (7.5/10)
I was really in need of some new Robbie music, and BOY did he ever deliver. I give it up to that man for being able to repeatedly make truly great pop music. Now the only thing I ask again, is Robbie: please release some b-sides from this project! If the album tracks are this good, the b-sides must be nice as well.