Rudebox

Rudebox

4.3 3
by Robbie Williams
     
 

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The careers of most music celebrities are like passenger ships, able to steam along nearly indefinitely without the least chance of modifying course. With his work of the 21st century, Robbie Williams appeared to have set himself on a course that was guaranteed to keep him working for decades, remaining important to thousands of fans, but never varying from the type

Overview

The careers of most music celebrities are like passenger ships, able to steam along nearly indefinitely without the least chance of modifying course. With his work of the 21st century, Robbie Williams appeared to have set himself on a course that was guaranteed to keep him working for decades, remaining important to thousands of fans, but never varying from the type of adult alternative singer/songwriter material expected of him. Then came Rudebox, which proves he's not that simple -- or at least, not that satisfied with himself. It may be a good album because it says little about his inner life and emotional troubles, which are unceremoniously dropped in favor of hyper-sexualized or sarcastic dance music and ironic laugh-getters ("Make your body shake like you stood on a land mine," "Dance like you just won at the Special Olympics"). It may be a good album because it has some of the best productions of his career, usually amped-up electro-disco from the duo Soul Mekanik or goofy hip-hop soul from Mark Ronson (which makes him come across as Justin Timberlake at some points and Gnarls Barkley at others). It's certainly a good record in comparison to its two predecessors, which suffered from a lack of vitality. (For example, while 2005's Intensive Care desultorily attempted to rewrite the Human League's "Louise," Rudebox simply covers the song, with much more feeling.) Compared to Escapology and Intensive Care, Rudebox is not only loose and fun but, for the first time in Williams' career, receptive to outside help; aside from the producers, Lily Allen and the Pet Shop Boys make appearances, and Robbie covers songs from Manu Chao, Lewis Taylor, Stephen Duffy, and the indie band My Robot Friend. Not that the record is perfect; in fact, it has a few of the most embarrassing moments in Williams' career. The lyrics occasionally devolve into hip-hop nonsense ("Got no strings, but I think with my ding-a-ling/Wu-Tang with the bling-bling, sing a song of Sing Sing"). "The 80s" is even worse, a nostalgic but monotone rap that oddly balances adolescent trauma and pop culture ("Auntie Jo died of cancer/God didn't have an answer/Rhythm was a dancer"). Still, the next track after "The 80s" is "The 90s," a surprisingly bewitching chronicle of his boy-band years from 1990 to 1995. The fact remains that every track here is better and more interesting than anything from the previous two LPs, despite the occasional embarrassing couplet or misguided musical idea.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/31/2006
Label:
Emi Europe Generic
UPC:
0094637704424
catalogNumber:
377044

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Robbie Williams   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals,Marimba (Electronics)
William Orbit   Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar,Keyboards
N'Dea Davenport   Background Vocals
Andrew Levy   Percussion
Laurie Mayer   Background Vocals
Adrian Meehan   Drums
Jerry Meehan   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Steve Sidelnyk   Drums
Neil Tennant   Background Vocals
Judie Tzuke   Background Vocals
Sam Koppelman   Percussion,Drums
Geoff Holroyde   Drums
Raymond Angry   Organ,Bass,Piano,Electric Piano,fender rhodes,Juno,Roland Synthesizer
Neal Sugarman   Tenor Saxophone
Karl Miller   Percussion
Leona Naess   Background Vocals
Nichol Thompson   Trombone
Danny Spencer   Synthesizer,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer
Vaughan Merrick   Moog Synthesizer
Michele Chiavarini   Keyboards
James Knight   Saxophone
Mark Ronson   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,scratching,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar
Ian Hendrickson-Smith   Baritone Saxophone
Mark Ralph   Dobro,Guitar
Brandon Christy   Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,fender rhodes
Fil Eisler   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Richard L. Scott   Background Vocals
Katherine Ellis   Background Vocals
Lily Allen   Background Vocals
Charmaine Baines   Vocals,Background Vocals
Dave Lee   Keyboards
MC Tofty   Rap
Kristina Paraskeva   Background Vocals
Clover Ray   Vocals
Terry Earl Taylor   Banjo,Harmonica,Bajo Licencia
Marsha Thomason   Vocals
Tiggers   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Bailey Tzuke   Background Vocals
Neil Taylor   Electric Guitar
Craig Adam Russo   Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Pet Shop Boys   Producer
William Orbit   Producer,Instrumentation
Rico Conning   MIDI Programming
Pete Gleadall   Programming,Engineer
Matt Kemp   Engineer
Chris Lowe   Composer,Programming
Adrian Meehan   drum programming
Jerry Meehan   Programming
Robert Smith   Engineer
Neil Tennant   Composer
Tim Weidner   Engineer
Robbie Williams   Composer
Manu Chao   Composer
John O'Donnell   Engineer
Chris Zippel   Producer
Iain Roberton   Engineer,MIDI Programming
Derek Pacuk   Engineer
Danny Spencer   Programming
Vaughan Merrick   Engineer
R. Williams   Composer
Mark Ronson   Producer,Engineer,beats
D. French Spencer   Composer
Brandon Christy   Programming,Producer,Engineer
My Robot Friend   Composer
K. Andrews   Composer
Graham Paris Dews   Contributor
C.S. Heath   Composer
Chris Brook   Engineer
Russell Cole   Contributor
Dave Lee   Producer
Gwendoline Liby   Contributor
Justin Mcarthy   Contributor
Lain Roberton   Engineer,MIDI Programming
L. Taylor   Composer
S. Dunbar   Composer
Craig Adam Russo   Programming,Producer,Engineer

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Rudebox 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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