Review Summary: Pop doesn't always have to be crappy.
Robbie Williams has been one of the most successful pop-culture creations with many hits having received frequent airplay. With many CDs in his fold, he's been slowly but steadily securing himself as one of the high fliers of today's pop music. Upon listening to Robbie's 2002 CD Escapology, though, I couldn't shake the feeling that even though it's pop, it's much more elaborate (or if you will, less half-assed) than most of the music that accompanies it on the radio.
Robbie is just mellow. His music is free of any cares and woes, and it works the same on the listener. Just sit back in your armchair, play the track Something Beautiful and tell me you still give a crap. I dare you. What merits a mention is the instrumentation on this album (which probably reflects Robbie's achievements in general). Having real musicians play real instruments is always a plus in the woefully demusicalized pop genre - you'll find guitars (even distorted ones), trumpets, trombones, pianos and more. The compositions are simple and poppy, yet diverse, elaborate and composed with care and heart. Robbie himself is quite a capable singer, though he certainly has rested on his laurels and by 2002 had still had much room to improve his technique. His skills have been absolutely sufficient to illustrate the music he performs, though - his delivery is correct and passionate.
Mr. Williams also demonstrates his quirkier side in songs like the punky Handsome Man, jovial Hot Fudge, Spanish-influenced Me and My Monkey, or aggressive Song 3 or Cursed - that last one even borders on hard rock with heavy riffing and a simplistic yet tasty solo thrown in. Emotionality is at its peak in the very well known hit Feel and the really thrilling Love Somebody - that last one seriously gave me the creepies the first time I heard it, and quite honestly, love and singing about it in songs are not my things. That just shows what an awesome song that is, a definite highlight.
Escapology is the most acclaimed effort by Robbie Williams for a reason. It showcases many facets of this musician while presenting the listener with a memorable and enjoyable experience encompassing a wide array of moods and emotions, founded on solid musicianship, If you like pop and light rock, don't pass this album.