The idea of a Robbie Williams album of 'swing' music 'ironically' playing off the name of his last album seems like the kind of lame joke that Cannon and Ball are currently peddling around some dingy seaside resort right now.
Except the nightmare has come true. Robbie 'The Don' Williams has followed up 'Sing When You're Winning' with an album of American big band music. So gaze nautiously at the back cover image of Robbie 'ironically' looking like a member of the Rat Pack, complete with gelled-down side parting, and prepare yourselves for perhaps the most smarmily disgusting album that shall hopefully emerge this century. 'Songwriting' partner Guy Chambers (who only contribute one co-written song among the entirely obvious choices of covers) says 'Frank would be proud'. The only thing Frank would be proud of is the fact that he died before he had the horror of hearing the type of music he peddled being stamped and pissed on by an ex-boy band cast-off.
But how could we forget the 'chemistry' of Robbie's duet on Nicole Kidman on the 'wondrous' 'Somethin' Stupid'. The chemistry having an obvious effect on Ms Kidman, who sounds as though she's being forced to read the lyrics while having a gun pointed at her head. Though even this pales into significance with the post-humous duet with Frank Sinatra on 'It was a very good year'. While we're probably all supposed to ingenious technology involved, it instead sounds like yet another a over-blown attempt for Mr Williams to audition for 'Stars in Their Eyes', with Sinatra's superior vocals tacked on at the end. The whole thing indeed sounds like the kind of tacky televisual concept used to fill out an empty Saturday night TV schedule. What's that, his Royal Albert performance was recorded for BBC TV? Who could have guessed.
Perhaps we try to be in some way complimentary, or else people think might think this album is an utterly worthless charade of phony emotion and outdated humour. Which it is, but are't the session musicians wonderful? Maybe it should also be noted that Rupert Everett and Robbies flatmate (hanger-on? Surely not!) Jonathan Wilkes all manage to out-manouvere Robbie, the former's huskier vocal tones sound far more suited for the big band music being peddled here. In all honesty, this is just not the kind of thing that Robbie Williams is suited towards. Unless he fancies a full-time career in pub karaoke…
1Michael MacLennan's Score