Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Robbie Williams comeback isn't working

I like Robbie Williams well enough - he's an interesting and engaging character who's produced a lot of good music. If you consider that some artists build a career that lasts for decades on the back of two or three memorable songs, he has a track record of hits that few can match. But that was then, what of the future? Can he get back on top and add to his reputation as a great entertainer and hitmaker?

That's what the comeback is aimed at for sure - a full frontal assault on the high ground of commercial music worldwide (except for America - that battle was lost long ago) complete with interviews, expensive videos, big live appearances and a major PR push. So what's the verdict? I was undecided after "Bodies" - a reasonable effort but not one of my Best New Pop Songs of the week - but have now concluded it's going to fail. His career is going to continue to decline. In the UK at least his credibility is shot - his appearances have lacked confidence and the old sparkle. It's all a bit desperate and noone seems to care. He's been greeted more by mild curiosity as to whether he's going to finally go completely off the rails rather than being welcomed back as a much-loved entertainer. Of course it could all turn around with a song like Angels, the song that bestowed the cred on him in the first place, but I haven't heard anything of that class so far in this comeback.

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