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Robbie Williams – Life Thru a Lens (1997)

October 13, 2014

[Album 351/1001]Life_Thru_A_Lens_(Robbiei_Williams_album_-_cover_art)

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.

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From → 1990s

13 Comments
  1. I somewhat reluctantly went to Robbie’s show this year with Wife. I had to admit it was pretty good. He is indeed an entertainer. He didn’t take himself seriously at all, and the whole thing was a bit like a comedy pantomime rather than a typical pop-star show.

  2. We were saturated with this LP at the time, I quite like it though it’s just good, well-crafted well-performed Pop.

    • Perhaps that’s the reason it works – it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than pop done right!

  3. We talked about Robbie Williams on my site about a year ago:
    http://mikeladano.com/2013/11/05/part-242-the-ego-has-landed/

    The Ego Has Landed is a great record, and it’s half this record. Therefore I like about half this record. Does that seem fair?

    • I was going to say – I thought I remembered chatting with you about Williams at one point. Between that & the gun rack, it’s been a weekend of that deja vu feeling, perhaps there’s a glitch in the Matrix!

  4. Always have enjoyed him as a singles artist, but never heard a full album.

  5. Ahhhhhh Robbie Williams. Awful!

    Can you tell I’m from the UK?!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Prodigy – Music for the Jilted Generation (1994) | 1001albumsin10years

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