Robbie Williams · Escapology
“Ya’ll know who I am/I’m still the boy next door/That’s if you’re Lord Lichfield and Roger Moore” sings the devilishly handsome and oft-charming Robbie Williams on his fourth Canadian release Escapology. It’s good to know that not much has changed for the ego. He and his longtime writing partner Guy Chambers are still trying to tell us in their witty way that Robbie’s famous, it’s hard and he’s certainly not normal.
In the rousing anthem “Monsoon” Robbie scolds all the ladies he’s loved (I’m glad that spending the night with me / Guaranteed you celebrity), in “Come Undone” he struggles with the pressures of pop-stardom (So write another ballad / Mix it on a Wednesday / Sell it on a Thursday / Buy a yacht by Saturday / It’s a love song) and in the humourous “Handsome Man” Rob gives it to us straight “It’s hard to be humble when you’re so fuckin’ big”.
Where Escapology really falters is on songs where Robbie attempts to get serious. The laughable “Sexed Up” boasts a chorus of “Why don’t we break up?” and the ridiculous road song “Me and My Monkey” pits Robbie as the sidekick to a gun-wielding, sex-loving monkey. Musically, however, it’s a very listenable pop-rock record. At moments, Robbie begins to sound like Neil Diamond (to say that he will one day perform in purple sequined tops a la the Reverend in Blue Jeans wouldn’t be a stretch) and like Diamond, he’s quite the performer. He’s got a great big voice, a whole lot of attitude and ladies, let’s face it – he’s hot.
It’s just too hard to take him as seriously as the millions of fans in Europe and Asia do. He should just stick to cheekiness and fighting with Liam Gallagher. We’ll let you entertain us Robbie, just don’t think we’ll ever take you seriously.
– Sara McLaren