Robbie released this album in November last year and as Wikipedia says, received ‘mixed to positive reviews’, why this doesn’t read ‘unanimously favourable reviews’, I will never know. To me, Robbie Williams is the embodiment of the glutinous, glorious and gutsy stars that inhabit the television and sound-waves and no one does it better.
This album, Swings Both Ways, illustrates this in the clearest terms possible and whether or not this is part of some act or not, isn’t clear, but either way, I love this album; doesn’t matter if just under half the songs are covers, it’s still the tits.
Like a lot of Robbie’s previous releases, this album takes a unique and Robbie way of looking at things. One of my favourite examples of this is the title track Swings Both Ways. This song dances with Robbie’s sexuality in the most indecent and fun way possible. It’s also insanely catchy and will have you singing along in front of anyone, much to your dismay. It’s a similar story with Soda Pop, which features everyone’s favourite modern day swing hunk, Michael Buble. Insanely catchyand it has that signature overactive mood.
Shine My Shoes also adopts this very ‘I don’t really care that you don’t like me and that’s kind hot’ vibe and he talks about how it doesn’t matter if you like him or not, but he just doesn’t care. If anything, keep giving the abuse, he kinda likes it. It would be interesting to see more stars pick up on this, as opposed to getting offended by every little thing.
Robbie really pulls out a few grand steps on this album showing off how emotional he can be, probably part of the act, who knows? But these tracks are really incredibly well written. Take, No On Likes a Fat Pop Star, it deals with how we’re almost forced fed these incredibly and unbelievably fit, attractive stars and how in reality, what it can do to the stars. A clever perspective; instead of spitting on this idea, Robbie flips it and it works well, especially with lyrics like: ‘If I could eat my own words, I’d tear through the verbs/But nobody pays me to speak’. Very clever Mr Williams! Snowblind also pulls the same vulnerability card and again, it works well in Robbie’s favour.
The covers on this album are all rather neat, while Robbie doesn’t exactly bring anything new to them, he does breathe a very specific sort of life into them with his active singing style. Best example is I Wan’na Be Like You, which features Olly Murs, who is also not as bad as people seem to think. The track itself is magnificent, it retains all of the liveliness that you’d expect it to and both Williams and Murs have some fun singing on this track and why shouldn’t they?
Swings Both Ways is one of my favourite albums from last year, take that as you want, but I really enjoyed how fun and active the album was.It didn’t try to be anything it wasn’t and what more could you ask for? Some soda pop? Featuring Michael Buble.
Do we keep it in the collection?