Friday, November 24, 2006

God knows I love to tan

Robbie Williams caught my attention with the singles (and some other songs) for his most recent album, Rudebox. Before that album, though, there was one other song that had really piqued my interest in Robbie. I heard it on UK radio and was thrilled to find out it was from Escapology, one of the albums Robbie had released here in the U.S.; I figured I'd be able to find it easily, maybe even on iTunes. Of course, the first Robbie song I'd heard and wanted to get turned out to not be available in the U.S., as for reasons I can't comprehend, it was taken off the U.S. version of Escapology (maybe to avoid controversy? It surely can't have been because it was judged to be one of the worst songs on the album!)...thank goodness for 7Digital!

Hot Fudge--piano-driven (and with horns!), "Hot Fudge" is one of those songs that will get stuck in your head and refuse to leave, even if you can't remember all the words (I spent a day tramping through the forest trying to remember any of the verses). Robbie sings about Los Angeles and California, and is often less than complimentary ("Can't find a virgin, I can get you a surgeon/24 hours a day"), though he says he's "moving to L.A." I just don't understand why this song wasn't on the U.S. version of the album--I really don't think it could be because of what he says about L.A. (though in a world where McFly felt they had to change "It's like a neutron bomb explosion" to "keep polluting like the ocean," who knows!).

To buy the UK version of Escapology, go here (physical) or here (digital).

Next up: I just saw a movie tonight that I should probably have seen months ago, so it might be music from that (though since I think the entire world except me already knows the songs, maybe not!). I think I may postpone the particular song and cover for a little while because when I get to the Christmas songs (starting this December; it won't be a very long feature, though), I'm probably going to feature the artist who did the covering twice.

6 comments:

J'ason D'luv said...

I recall that CD was only $7.99 at Virgin when it came out here, in an attempt to get people to buy it. My boyfriend got it for me, and after listening to it once, I couldn't ever listen to it again. It was awful. "Feel" was okay for, like, 2 plays, but overall -- ugh.

humanclay said...

god i couldn't disagree with that more j'ason...and maybe that's because i have my own american spin on the british understanding of Robbie Williams...while Escapology isn't nearly as strong as Sing While Your Winning IMO it does still feature some great songs like Feel and Handsome Man (and of course Hot Fudge)...but really the best song of the record is the self-loathing love song to his mother Come Undone...featuring a chorus that would break any mother's heart if it were simply sent in a letter...

"They're selling razorblades and mirrors in the street
pray that when i'm coming down you'll be asleep
if i ever hurt you your revenge would be so sweet
because i'm scum
and i'm your son
i've come undone"


Robbie's problem with America seems to be two-fold...he wears his british sensibilities and sense of humor on his sleeve...and while Universal was saying that they wanted to break him as an artist in the states they also did everything they could to ensure that wouldn't happen (and here's the part where i sound like a broken record...they have done the same thing with Busted,Atomic Kitten,Westlife,Sugababes,et all)...and that's really too bad...because right now the states are missing out on Rudebox and the ridiculously fabulous song Louise and the equally as brilliant 2-fer of The 80s and The 90s...

Poster Girl said...

Two very different opinions--hmm...I wish I could offer something more substantial to the discussion, but after getting his greatest hits I still haven't gotten around to getting Escapology as a whole. I may have to give it a listen now, just so I can know where I come down...

Robbie's an interesting artist for me--he's never inspired the level of passion in me some other artists do, and he's not usually someone whose songs I end up putting practically on repeat (though I did that with "Kiss Me" for a bit), but he's always sort of there, in the background, for me to return to occasionally and then move on. I think I just need to immerse myself in his back catalogue some day so I can form an actual opinion about him. I think Rudebox, which I quite like, might be the album that forces me to do so--I liked Will Young but mainly on a song-by-song basis and I didn't really get him until I heard his most recent album, which inspired me to go re-listen to his first two albums, and now I adore him and those albums.

J'ason D'luv said...

Humanclay, I will admit that I bought Rudebox and enjoyed it when I first got it, but I've found that Robbie is most enjoyable when he's not so self-aware or projecting his neuroses into his songs, i.e., doing a bunch of other artists songs. "Louise" is probably one of the two or three highest points on that album, I agree. He did the Human League justice with the cover.

But my point of contention with him has always been his inability to be subtle in his anguish and smarminess. Yes, I get that he's got a sense of humor, but it's probably just my personal taste that I think he overdoes it a bit. There's something (to me) very sneaky and highly insincere about his every move -- I don't believe his heart is really in it -- and I can't really hold his music in any high regard because of it.

Of course, if you wanna know what I really think, check out the Banterview with did on Robbie a month ago.

Paul said...

as you know i adore Robbie and while i think Escapology is his best album ever (for me anyway) Intensive Care and Rudebox rank somewhere near the bottom of his output. I´m really disappointed with both although there are little gems to be found there... i think hs is an incredible talent, and yet can´t help but think Guy Chambers contribution to his career was vastly underappreciated...

Anonymous said...

I think the hardest thing for Americans to understand is that he doesnt give a toss about "breaking it in America". Thats the funny thing if you believe everything you read about in the media its portrayed as if he wants to. But according to his book,he went to LA to escape the dickheads/paparazzi that is rampant in London. America is so insular in its thinking,they think everyone thinks they are important as they think they are,sorry thats not the case.