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Rudebox

Audio CD | Import

3.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 30, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Robbie Williams' highly anticipated and much talked about 2006 album. Rudebox sees Robbie collaborating with an array of musical mavericks. These include his heroes Pet Shop Boys, king of ambient William Orbit, fellow Stoke natives Danny Spencer & Kelvin Andrews (AKA Soul Mekanik), Disco-House icon Joey Negro and NYC-based DJ cum-Über producer Mark Ronson. There are both new original compositions and covers of some of his favorite tracks by artists as diverse as Manu Chao, the Human League, My Robot Friend, Lewis Taylor and old friend Stephen Duffy. Through it's 16 tracks, Rudebox marks out and charts Robbie's musical loves and life. EMI. 2006.

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With the help of producer/songwriters William Orbit, Mark Ronson, Jerry Meehan, Joey Negro and Soul Mekanik (plus guests as diverse as The Pet Shop Boys and Lily Allen), Robbie Williams has achieved a most radical transformation. Gone is the slick, pop-rogue of yesteryear: in his place is a new Robbie that raps, embraces club beats and (mostly) favours personal indulgence over cheesy, universal pop. Recent single "Rudebox", all electronic riddims and slack-rap vocal delivery, was just the start of this transition. The rest of Rudebox completes the remarkable overhaul with several eclectic covers - from Manu Chau's "Bongo Bong" and Lewis Taylor's underground classic "Lovelight," to subversive takes on The Human League ("Louise"), My Robot Friend ("We're The Pet Shop Boys") and Stephen Duffy ("Kiss Me") – and tracks such as "Keep On", "Good Doctor" and "Dickhead", which confirm his quite bewildering quest to becoming a comedic, Staffs-accented version of The Streets.

Slightly more serious are his attempts at what he describes as 'wonky pop'. Songs like "Viva Life On Mars", his odd ode to Madonna ("She's Madonna"), the dark "The Actor" and catchy club-hit-in-waiting "Never Touch That Switch" all feature innovative production and interesting arrangements. Toward the end, we get "The 80s" and "The 90s", two more amusing "rap"-tracks that cover the singer's adolescence and his Take That years respectively; these underline the nostalgic, end-of-an-era feel of the LP. Audaciously eclectic and admirably upfront, Rudebox is overtly a form of personal catharsis. Not all the experiments work, but they're better than you might think, and now they're off his chest it'll be interesting to see where the new Robbie Williams heads to next.--Paul Sullivan

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Rudebox
  2. Viva Life On Mars
  3. Lovelight
  4. Bongo Bong And Je Ne T'aime Plus
  5. She's Modonna
  6. Keep On
  7. Good Doctor
  8. The Actor
  9. Never Touch That Switch
  10. Louise
  11. We're The Pet Shop Boys
  12. Burslem Normals
  13. Kiss Me
  14. The 80's
  15. The 90's
  16. Summertime


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