Robbie Williams (Virgin)
Over the past four years Robbie Williams has been shoved from the spotlight by his former band mates. Ever-competitive Williams is attempting to seize the public’s attention back by being as much like Popular Robbie Williams as possible. He might as well have called his eighth album Take That, Take That.
The faint melancholy of Intensive Care is absent here, as are the ill-judged attempts at electro that blighted Rudebox. Produced expertly by Trevor Horn, Reality Killed The Video Star is a big pop album, which recalls all manner of other stuff – Oasis (Superblind), Pet Shop Boys (Difficult For Weirdos), ’60s soul (You Know Me) – but, somehow, only ever really sounds like Robbie Williams.
Part of it is down to Williams’ strong vocals. And part of it is down to his wretched lyrics, attempts at profundity that often come closer to utter nonsense; the worst offender is gibberish ballad Blasphemy. Still, the spotlight’s his again, which is all he ever wanted.