First off, Merry Robbie Tuesday to you all. Today we are going to look at Robbie's second album, I've Been Expecting You released in 1998.
Strong: Robbie's sing-a-long song. So much fun to sing to and good album opener. It really sets the mood of the album: let me pour my heart to you and have a cocktail with an umbrella whilst I do so.
No Regrets: One of my all time favourites. Features Neil Tennant and Neil Hannon on guest vocals and is just superb. The choruses are just epic but I think what really shines here are Robbie's lyrics; not so much about who they pertain to (Take That) but the anger and frustration that builds on each line. Key lyric: I didn't lose my mind/it was mine to give away. And Suppose it's just a point of view/but they tell me I'm doing fine.
Millennium: the first single off the album. Uses a sample of 'You Only Live Twice' and this Bond theme was used in the video and the album artwork. A deserving number 1 though I've never quite worked out what it's about. If I'm to harbour a guess, I'd say it is about Robbie.
Phoenix From the Flames: a beautiful ballad that is soft in the verses and loud in the choruses. It's one of his best slow songs- yes, right up there with Angels and Feel. Lovely piano part at the beginning and one of his rare falsetto moments during the verses.
Win Some Lose Some: A mid-tempo number about a summer fling. Really lovely and has a summer vibe.
Grace: Another midtempo number in the same vein, but after learning about what the song was originally about, it kind of made me sad to listen to. Grace was what Robbie was planning on calling his and Nicole Appleton's unborn child and I think the chorus speaks volumes. At first, I thought he was talking about the concept of Grace, which is probably what most people think of now. But with lines like 'Grace, I'm not yet born/come embrace a soul that's torn' its hard not to speculate.
It's Only Us: the replacement song for Jesus in a Camper Van, this was put on the reissued version from 2002 onwards. And it's rocker Robbie, a really fun high action song. Love the 'Rock me Amadaeus' shout out.
Heaven From Here: An acoustic ballad that is the younger brother to One of God's Better People. It's sung beautifully and is a stronger song than its predecessor, though I enjoy both.
Karma Killer: In my top 10 Robbie songs, this has got to be in the top 5. Absolute corker. It builds and builds until it has a spaz attack at the end. And that climax is wonderful- the string section sounds like it's high on coke. And it's the ultimate fuck you song with some brilliant lyrics i.e I hope you choke on your Bacardi and Coke.
She's The One: yes it's a cover, but it's a brilliant cover- the type that makes you forget that the original ever existed. A heartbreaking ballad about love or lost love, I'm not sure. But it's sung with such romance it's hard not to fall in love with it.
Man Machine: Like Karma Killer, if Karma Killer was in a Guy Ritchie film. So it's clever, less angry but its still up there in fuck the world stakes.
These Dreams: a beautiful ballad to end the album and is a touching story about a woman in a relationship that she shouldn't be in.
I think you can tell that I consider this one of Robbie Williams best albums and is in my top 3. Only wish I'd discovered it earlier. It's such a strong, consistent pop album and was a wonderful way to cap off the decade.