Rudebox

Studio Album by released in 2006

Rudebox review

Robbie Williams can deal with any genre

It has taken Robbie Williams only a year to completely change his style and record a new album that is utterly different from everything he has done before and for sure from what his long-time fans have expected. One of Great Britain’s most successful pop singers and songwriters with over 45 million albums sold worldwide has now turned to another direction that has become so popular among modern artists – hip-hop and electronics. In order to make the new record that has quite a mysterious name Rudebox professionally enough Williams has teamed up with such producers and songwriters as William Orbit, Mark Ronson, Jerry Meehan, Joey Negro and Soul Mekanik and also invited Pet Shop Boys and Lily Allen to sing a couple of songs with him. Although judjing by these names it might be possible to suppose the album to be a dance one, it has actually got so many unexpected pleasant surprises that it is rather difficult to classify it somehow at all. Robbie Williams demonstrates the talent of a musician that can deal with any genre from rap and to acid house, performing on Rudebox the music with the shades of fashioanble trends of the past and fantastic sounds of future. Yet despite all these peculiarities, Rudebox can be only Williams’ record, and whichever changes happen to him, nothing can affect his charisma and always recognizable vocals.

A homonious mixture of various styles called Rudebox

Nonsense alongside with the deepest philosopy in the lyrics has already become characteristic feature of all Robbie Willialm’ albums, and Rudebox is not an exception. Among its 17 tracks (including bonus Dickhead) the record offers both funny texts sometimes resembling a mere flow of consciousness and interesting wise thoughts. The first single Rudebox has already arisen a lot of disputes as both the critics and the fans cannot quickly get used to the singer’s new image. The song is based on the sample of Sly & Robbie composition Boops (Here To Go) and is remarkable for a catchy electronic chorus. Track Viva Life On Mars opens with a harmonica and pleases with intersting country guitars combined with Robbie’s high-tone vocals, while the second single off the album Lovelight, the cover of Lewis Taylor’s popular song, is refined by the singer’s great falsetto against the background of jazzy instrumentation with electronic beats. Another cover, King Of The Bongo (Manu Chao) is a brilliant example of Willialms’ ability to introduce a part of himself into any creation; one of the advantages of the song is that it is flavored with Lily Allen’s backing voclas. Very melodious track She’s Madonna is one of the collaborations with Pet Shop Boys, and one of the two songs devoted to the pop star. Pet Shop Boys join Robbie once again on Were The Pet Shop Boys, and another song about Robbie’s favorite Madonna is called The Actor, another electronic danceable composition. Keep On and Good Doctor find Willialms doing his famous rapping, and here he sounds more confident than ever, letting himself some jokes and funny intonations. Whichever track you choose, it is an independent creation, but they all wonderfully fit with each other making Rudebox rather a homonious mixture of various styles.

Change to the better

Since his younger years when he was one of Take That members, Robbie Williams has been inclined to crack jokes and have fun. His solo albums, however, have revealed the artist’s ability to be serious as well, and with each new hit he earned himself the fame of a thinker and often even a gifted psychologist. With Rudebox Williams seems to open a new chapter of his career for the album has embraced many of his previous achievements and presents the listeners the artist as they have not known him yet. It is quite possible that this experiment turns out just another game for Robbie, who has been always fond of experimentation, and that on his next creation we again are going to hear his typical soulful ballads, like recent Feel. On the other hand, many have already highly appreciated William’s new line and he has probably set his mind to continue working in such experimental direction. Only one thing is clear: whatever the manner of performance Robbie Williams prefers, he is sure to do everything as confidently and easily as all his previous creations. Rudebox is the seventh studio album and the ninth solo work of a singer who has already reached unbelievable success, and this is only the first notable change in the stylistics of his music. No matter what it leads to, this change is doubtless to the better.