The Heavy Entertainment Show

The Heavy Entertainment Show

by Robbie WilliamsRobbie Williams

CD(Canadian Import)

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Establishing himself as the last of a particular breed, Robbie Williams makes his pop comeback on The Heavy Entertainment Show. Aptly titled, Williams is entertaining as ever, a consummate showman until the end. The album is a grab bag of ideas, darting here and there in its pursuit of a hit. However, this isn't too much of a distraction. Mr. Entertainment and his bombast do not disappoint. The Heavy Entertainment Show is his most invigorated album in years, a truer return to the pop realm than 2012's Take the Crown. Here, Williams dresses up his antics in expert production with plenty of cheekiness to spare. As the show begins, Williams announces "the charisma's non-negotiable" and "I'm about to strip and you're my pole." He's cocky, crass, and utterly engaging as a chorus of backup singers add, "He would sell his children for a hit in Belgium!" Few pop stars can pull this off, yet from Williams, it's almost comforting to see him once again embrace his braggadocious ringmaster persona. Longtime producer Guy Chambers makes his return to Williams' circus, along with a number of high-profile guests. The Killers-penned "Mixed Signals" is an open-road epic that sounds like a Battle Born castaway, while Ed Sheeran and Benny Blanco join forces for the stomp-twang Avicii-lite "Pretty Woman." Rufus Wainwright contributes songwriting and his velvety voice to a trio of brassy tunes, kick-stepping alongside Williams on the aforementioned title track, as well as "Hotel Crazy" and the grand outro "Sensational." "David's Song" -- penned by Jewel and Kara DioGuardi -- is a heart-rending soft rock ballad that overwhelms with a powerful closing guitar solo and orchestral swell. However, it's producer Stuart Price who proves most valuable. In addition to the Killers track, he injects the album with a pair of addictive standout synth numbers. Highlight "Bruce Lee" is a Bowie-stomping glam number that struts its way through the pack, while "Sensitive" amps up the sensuality with echoing synths, handclaps, and juicy bass. Elsewhere, there are a couple love-or-hate tracks that stick out. The Prokofiev-sampling lead single "Party Like a Russian" -- which sounds like something Muse would use to dramatically start a show -- is big on drama and creativity, but might rub some listeners the wrong way with its cultural generalities. Meanwhile, the boldly titled "Motherfucker" seems like it's trying a little too hard to shock, yet it's the finest example of Williams' schtick. A heartwarming dedication to his young son, it is ridiculous yet completely uplifting. As it explodes into a guitar-drenched Oasis B-side, Williams recites a litany of family woes that could affect his offspring. It'll make grandma blush, but at the heart of it all, he's confident that his son will "break the chain" of sin. Despite that title and explicit lyrics, Williams allows some sincerity to shine through the sophomoric, remaining hilarious and full of heart. Eleven albums in and he's still one of the most likable acts around, truly one of a kind. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

Product Details

Release Date: 11/11/2016
Label: Imports
UPC: 0889853710324
catalogNumber: 5053866
Rank: 97163

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Robbie Williams   Primary Artist,Vocals
Dave Catlin-Birch   Acoustic Guitar,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Guy Chambers   Dulcimer,Synthesizer,Piano,Accordion,Glockenspiel,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,Mellotron,Moog Bass
Dan Ellis   Percussion,Tambourine
Nigel Hitchcock   Alto Saxophone
London Session Orchestra   Strings
Jerry Meehan   Bass Guitar
Steve Robson   Guitar,Keyboards
Jeremy Stacey   Drums
Paul Stacey   Acoustic Guitar,Soloist,Guitar (Electric Baritone)
Jamie Talbot   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Nigel Barr   Tuba,Bass Trombone
Shawn Lee   Percussion
Richard Flack   Synthesizer,Percussion,Synthesizer Bass
Ross Hamilton   Bass Guitar
Ben Castle   Tenor Saxophone
Stuart Price   Guitar,Keyboards
Chris Dean   Trombone
Dean Collinson   Background Vocals
Martin Williams   Baritone Saxophone
Gary Nuttall   Background Vocals
Andrea Grant   Background Vocals
Brandon Flowers   Keyboards
David Keuning   Guitar
Ronnie Vannucci   Drums
Karl Brazil   Drums,Tambourine
Rhianna Kenny   Background Vocals
Gary Go   Background Vocals
Sara Jane Skeete   Background Vocals
Luke Potashnick   Guitar
Mike Davis   Trumpet
Edward Cervenka   Dulcimer,Cimbalom
Johnny McDaid   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Hammond B3
Chris Hutchings   Synthesizer
Nayanna Holley   Background Vocals
Andreas Eide Larsen   Acoustic Guitar
Alastair White   Trombone
Mark August Stoemer   Bass Guitar
Kenji Fenton   Saxophone
Denosh Bennett   Background Vocals
Chloe Askew   Background Vocals
Adetoun Rattenbury   Background Vocals
Diran Meghreblian   Voiceover
Jim Board   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Lexy Townsend-Rose   Background Vocals
Celeste Chambers   Background Vocals
Oscar Golding   Bass Guitar

Technical Credits

Serge Gainsbourg   Composer
Guy Chambers   Composer
Mike Curb   Composer
Robert Williams   Composer
Kara DioGuardi   Composer
Rufus Wainwright   Composer
Robbie Williams   Composer
Mack David   Composer
Richard Flack   drum programming
Stuart Price   Composer,Programming
Brandon Flowers   Composer
David Keuning   Composer
Mark Stoermer   Composer
Chris Heath   Composer
Gary Go   Composer
Johnny McDaid   Composer,Programming
Benjamin Levin   Composer
Chris Hutchings   Programming
Ed Sheeran   Composer
Flynn Francis   Composer
Jackson Guthy   Composer
Tim Metcalfe   Composer

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