Release Date: Nov 18, 2013
Record label: Island
Genre(s): Pop, Vocal, Pop/Rock, Vocal Pop
Robbie Williams swings both ways. No longer just a hopeful Google search term for those hungry for celebrity gossip, but also the title of the self-styled cheeky chappie’s latest album. As you’ve probably already guessed, the title refers to swing music rather than any bisexual leanings. On a completely unrelated note, this time Jonathan Wilkes is nowhere to be seen.
Robbie Williams has returned to the format of 2001's big band-era cover album, Swing When You're Winning, one of the most successful of his career, but this time with six original songs, and oodles more self-deprecating camp. Swing Supreme – one of a clutch of songs written with Angels co-writer Guy Chambers – depicts an ennui-laden rock star hankering after the jazz age with one-liners such as "a tumour in your humour", while the title track finds Rufus Wainwright telling the singer, "Face it, Robbie, you're a little bit gay. " Celebrity guests (Lily Allen, Olly Murs, Michael Buble), brass and finger-clicks abound, and lots of the tracks swing so much you can almost smell the brilliantine.
There are no actual Christmas songs on Robbie Williams's latest offering, Swings Both Ways. But this album of covers and duets officially inaugurates the present-buying season and, with it, the annual leave-taking of taste. (Lily Allen's John Lewis ad did the same, only in the shorter form.)Robbie's looking dapper on the cover. Inside, reliable old music sits next to six new compositions by Guy Chambers and Williams as known and unknown chocolates do in a variety box.
On half of his 10th solo album, British pop tart Robbie Williams welcomes back Guy Chambers - co-writer of his best albums I've Been Expecting You and Sing When You're Winning. The other half is a handful of covers, making Swings Both Ways a strange hybrid of his turn-of-the-millennium pop-rock and his 2001 release of big band covers. Having a foot in both worlds, however, waters it all down.