Well, it really is Robbie Tuesday. Firstly, 'Electric Proms', Robbie's first proper show of the year, will be screened in cinemas in Australia from Nov 6. Mark that date down. Fingers crossed I can haul my arse down to a cinema between exams.
If not, there's always his ARIA awards performance on Nov 26 at Acer Arena.
Next, the great xolondon has duly noted that a minute long snippet of 'Last Days of Disco' is on a promo vid for the album. Head on another to the blog or the official site to check it out. Personally, I love it. It is very dancey, dark and Pet Shop Boys esque. Like the next step from Rudebox (the album). http://xolondon.blogspot.com
And now, as promised, a track by track on Robbie's first solo album 'Life thru a lens'
1. Lazy Days: Reminds me of Sundays. A very mellow track, but a solid album opener. I always chuckle at the 'we will have...a jolly good time' lyric. Sums him up (at the time).
2. Life Thru a Lens: Title track (duh). Starts off nice then goes right off the rails. Loves it. Fav lyric: 'your clothes are very kitsch, just because your daddy's rich'. Definately sounds like he was off his tits when he recorded this one. And if he wasn't, I'll eat my shoe. The ending is mental but doesn't compare to Karma Killer's epic closing (more on that next week)
3. Ego A Go Go: More upness. Huzzah! Cheeky Rob taking the piss out of himself. Sounds very Britpop, but not in that cheesy way. 'Circus is gone now all that's left is the clown'. Ominous much? (See Take That's album The Circus for the reference. Fools)
4.Angels: There's nothing to say about this track that hasn't been said in the past 12 years. Amazing. Beautiful. And nothing compares to this original. The brutal honesty in the delivery, the guitar solo, the string section... The live version at Knebowrth is chills-down-your-spine- worthy. A definite pop classic.
5. South of the Border: Forgettable. That doesn't mean it's terrible, but stacking up next to the other songs, it just sounds like filler, but good filler. Sounds like 'Knutsford City Limits' on pot.
6. Old Before I Die: Catchy chorus. Sounds like Guy Chambers had a hand but this is acutally one of the Guy-less tunes on the record. Robbie rocking out in his own special way. Awww...
7. One of God's Better People: A lovely acoustic number. This is actually one of my favourites off the record. Honest and raw. 'My wish was pure/oh so pure'. So sweet. File this next to 'Nan's Song'. The guitar bits before the chorus are just nutty and sort of grip you. And I'm only now picking up on the horn sections in the second chorus. Wow.
8. Let Me Entertain You: This is the sort of song that grabs you by the balls and goes 'IN YOUR FACE MOFO!' I think Robbie once said that this track was born to open shows. Totally agree. Rocks out with its...socks out :P The guitar break towards the last choruses and the piano bit are just fantastic. Lyrically, its so clever. I can't see anyone but the great showman himself sing it. The video is a personal favourite- Robbie in a KISS cover band? Yes ploise.
9. Killing Me: brings the tempo of the album back down off its high. Achingly beautiful. You can tell he's just opening his wound on this track. 'Words cut deep when you're defenceless'. Puck yeah. And don't get me started on the horns at the end. I think this is just making it into my Robbie Top 10.
10. Clean: A fun, happy stupid song about trying to get off drugs.
11. Baby Girl Window: A pretty song to end the album. Just noticed the lyric 'a place where heaven breathes'. Some people hate lyric recyclers, but personally I love these little nods. This lyric can be found on the Robbie/Guy song 'Loveboat' by Kylie Minogue (2000).
Overall, I don't think this is my favourite out of his records, but at least it's a solid effort with plenty of great rock/pop songs. Very Britpop-lite and he sounds coked out at times. Or doing a Gallagher borthers impression. 6.5-7 Robbie's out of 10 Wiliiams.