Robbie Williams – Life Thru a Lens (1997)
When I looked at the Life Thru a Lens tracklist, I realized I was very familiar with two of the songs:
1) Let Me Entertain You. My wenderful wife & I worked at a soccer (football, rather) store in England during the 2004 Euro Cup. Ostensibly to get the customers in the football spirit, a cd of pump-up tunes was played. And played. The same 45 minutes, on repeat, until England was sadly/mercifully eliminated. The morning after the loss, the British staff weren’t exactly cheerful; the rest of the imported staff however were secretly jubilant, different music, at last!
I’m a huge believer in the saying “comedy = tragedy + time.” 10 years later, the Let Me Entertain You/Euro Cup over-saturation is approaching funny!
2) Angels. Back in the day, I may have been overexposed to this one as well. This time however, the fault was entirely mine: I have fond memories of driving around with my friend Michael listening to a mix cd with this & DMX, certainly a mix!
With the exception of Angels and later Rock DJ, I have no memory of Robbie Williams being terribly successful in Canada.
Even with his boy band, Take That, the only song I can remember getting much air time ’round here was Back For Good.
So whereas my UK friends may have grown tired of Robbie years ago, I don’t want to cheapen the record by calling it a guilty pleasure, but I really enjoyed this!
Some tracks don’t hold up as well on repeated listens but there’s some terrific pop in the set. He’s as effective on the radio-ready toe-tappers (i.e. the title track) as he is on the slower acoustic numbers (e.g. One of God’s Better People). Though I was a bit disappointed he pronounced ‘thru’ as ‘thru’ and not ‘froo’ like my daughter’s English soccer coach.
If you got sick of Robbie (and at least with Let Me Entertain You, I can relate), the overexposure wounds may still be too fresh; listening with fresh ears may be easier said than done.
If you’re not still suffering from Williams overexposure and you’re in the mood for some fun, give this a spin.
I for one am glad that I took Robbie up on his offer: I allowed him to do so and entertain me he did.