fri 24/01/2020

CD: Robbie Williams – The Christmas Present | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Robbie Williams – The Christmas Present

CD: Robbie Williams – The Christmas Present

A saccharine concoction served up with lashings of cheese

Here’s some Christmas cheer for you – Robbie Williams now ties Elvis for the most number ones in a solo career. Take that in (pun intended). While there was a fleeting moment in the late Nineties when he could do no wrong, chart-wise, Mr Williams seems happy to take the caricature to the max.

Do we really need yet another version of "Winter Wonderland", or the "Christmas Song", or "Let it Snow"? And do we need them to come with a thick icing of smarm, as deep as only Robbie (sly wink, cheeky grin) Williams can serve up? Here’s hoping that Noddy Holder hasn’t heard this big-band-style massacring of "Merry Xmas Everybody" – a duet with Jamie Cullum no less. Complete with cheesy "Merry Christmas, mate" exchange in the fade out. Pass me the Pepto-Bismol, pronto.

But worry not – it’s not just dubious re-hashes on this double album. There are new tunes, too, including the duet with Tyson Fury – "Bad Sharon" – a Poundland Peter Kay money-spinner, tipped for the top – and "Coco’s Christmas Lullaby" (Robbie’s a dad!). The line "everything’s so overpriced, like Justin Bieber’s merchandise, Happy Christmas Jesus Christ," sums up the whole sorry affair.

He wheels out many of his showbiz friends including Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams and Helene Fischer (cracking the Russian/German market there). Sadly, the one song written by Williams and Guy Chambers – "The Best Christmas Ever" – summons none of the pure pop magic of "Angels" or "Let Me Entertain You".

Every cliché is covered. All the boxes ticked (including a duet with his dad, of course). It’s exactly what you’d expect from the "Fat Dancer" but for those who love the cheeky chappie, it’s the perfect present.

@kathrynsreilly 

Every cliché is covered

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