Robbie Williams is the man. I really like the guy. I mean that genuinely, I really like him. Not sardonically, or sarcastically or even remotely ironically – I just really like Robbie Williams. Not just because he’s an all-round top bloke and a fellow member of the Staffordshire posse (shout out my West Midlands crew) – but I actually love a lot of his music. I’m talking B-side’s and album tracks here. Remember ‘Jesus in a Campervan’ from 1998’s I’ve Been Expecting You? No? Well I do.
All this isn’t to say that I’ve unflinchingly and unequivocally loved everything he’s put out. I tried to warm to the likes of ‘Rudebox’, but it just wasn’t the grower I told myself it could be. In fact, I would argue that I haven’t really enjoyed a Robbie track since 2003’s Escapology. So, my ears pricked up when I heard he’d put out a new single on a new label, Universal.
‘Candy’ is a cheeky slice of brass-driven pop that is reminiscent of some of Mark Ronson’s finest work. It is Robbie down to a tee and it just feels right. Unlike his last three efforts this single seems fitting for a 38-year-old pop star who still has plenty of flare, despite his singing voice notoriously giving up a decade ago. Key to this, perhaps, is the songs co-writer and producer – one Mr. Gary Barlow. Could it be that in his old band mate he has filled the void that many felt ‘Angels’ co-writer Guy Chambers had left back in 2003?
Well, it’s bloody catchy. I’ve racked up a play count in the late teens already. Have a listen below – but you’ve been warned. This is a Robbie Williams record… A proper, no-holds-barred, Robbie Williams record.
‘Candy’ is released in the UK on October 29th with his ninth studio album Take The Crown coming out the week after on 5th November.