Rated: Mr. Personality
The album is all what you/we expected, Robbie Williams trying to go "back to his roots" and give it a modern twist but in most of the album it isn't working. From the starting song, 'Be A Boy' ,that sounds like Coldplay & Rihanna featuring a light version of Calvin Harris mixed with Lady Gaga (Hip ain't it? ), is very predictable what the album is going to be about.
What unite the album is the 1980's sound but not in the good classics way but in a old dusty way. The record has tracks that could be part of a "worst of the 80s" compilation because songs are trying to sound like someone else, Robbie even try to sound like Freddy Mercury in 'Into the Silence'. Another thing that is not good is his voice, maybe Robbie is too old or something but his voice is not gentle in this album, almost hurts, all the yells he's giving, the voice is to forced. That's not the only thing forced most of the fun songs like 'Candy' and 'Gospel' are over-cheesy.
The album would be better with more edition work. Some songs are entertaining but too long so they become boring, other ones have too much for a song, others don't have a way just try to sound like Katy Perry meets One Direction, or like 'Hey Wow Yeah Yeah' that have a nice 90's vibe but would be a good one if it was from Gorillaz, instead it ended like a bad mix of Cobra Starship and JC Chasez and not only the songs co-wrote with Gary Barlow have that feeling of "it should NOT sound like Take That" and in the end it sounds like weird Take That forced to do different stuff ,on drugs.
So too much pretentious songs and too much yelling and nothing really interesting make the album sink badly. Some songs trying to save the record, are the ones that sound like his old sound blended with bits of modern trend: electro-pop. The best tracks are on the end of the album, at least a slightly better end, and obviously the Deluxe edition is better with a Take That's original demo, 'Eight Letters'. A complete mess with some tiny bits of charm.
To Listen: Not Like the Others,Hunting for You
Avoid: Be a Boy, Gospel,Into the Silence,