31 October 2005

Intensive Care

I got home from KSC on Thursday, and to my delight I saw the package from Amazon.uk sitting perched on our breakfast bar. I knew what lay inside. Three years ago, my exposure to Robbie Williams was limited to the fascinating, if disgusting, banned video for Rock DJ, which I downloaded on whichever P2P software I was using at the time.

In May 2003 I went on vacation to France, armed with my MP3-CD player, cassette adapter, and a dozen discs filled with MP3s. Then I got my rental car, a powder-blue Citro├źn C3 with an honest-to-god CD player. My respect for the French increased measurably, but now I was stuck with a useless audio system. Fortunately, the Toulouse Virgin Megastore beckoned. After wandering around for an hour or so, I found the display containing multiple copies of his relatively new release, Escapology, which was just being rolled out in the US for a whopping $7.99 (he was trying to break into the US market). They however, wanted something like €20 for it, so I decided to purchase both Sing When You're Winning (featuring Rock DJ) and Swing When You're Winning (a collection of standards). I then subjected poor Barbara to about 3000 kilometers of non-stop Robbie, excepting when we were able to get VOA near Monte Carlo.

Damn it was good stuff.

I've since gotten every Robbie album (excepting the Greatest Hits collection), most concert DVDs, about two dozen EPs and DVD-singles, and his documentary Nobody Someday on DVD. Needless to say, I'm a big fan. His style is pretty much pure Brit-Pop, with a bit of Rock and Roll rolled in for good measure from time to time, and pretty much every song he's released is great (no mean feat). He's so good that I actively buy his singles for the bonus songs he invariably publishes on every one. His three Knebworth concerts in 2003 had over 125,000 attendees each, and the DVD from that show clearly shows why. The man quite simply puts on a show like none other. Having said that, he can't give CDs away in America. Reportedly he used to be pissed about that, but then he realized he could walk the streets of LA without being mobbed by fans, something he can't manage anywhere between London and Singapore.

Which brings us to 2005, and his latest effort, Intensive Care, which isn't even being released in the US. That, of course, is what was waiting for me in the cardboard Amazon.uk box. Unsurprisingly, I got the limited edition version (with bonus DVD). Since I was springing for the postage anyway, I had them throw in the first enhanced single, Tripping, and the first DVD-single, also Tripping.

I was going to post a review here, since I've listened to the album nonstop for the last 4 days, but I've yammered on for too long now. Expect one forthcoming.

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