Take That had a glorious return to form. After a hiatus of 10 long years, they would have been forgotton and out. They could have sank without a trace like Boyzone, backstreet boys and other such boybands, but still their comeback was remarkable. Not only did they send their old fans into a frenzy, they considerably widened their fanbase. What exactly seperates them from others? Well the answer is clear as a crystal, it's their humility. The guys realise that their comeback has been magnificent only due to their dedicated fans who have welcomed them back with open arms. Gary Barlow who considered himself to be the soul of TT was badly shaken up by Robbie Williams phenomenon. Hence he is now wiser and more down to earth than he has ever been. Overall They guys have realised that TT is where their heart is and it showed in their comeback album beautiful world. No one couls have predicted the amazing chart run it had. This was followed up by a grand tour and the popularity of they guys rocketed up!!
So they were back with their new work The Circus. Expectations were sky-high. Could the guys match up to the hype which now surrounds them? Well after going through the album a lot of times, I think it is safe to conclude that though the album is definitely not better than their previous album, it still works!! The best part is that every TT member has contributed in the songs be it in writing or singing. The camaraderie the guys share is still there and most of the ballads are good pop material and non-cheesy (thankfully).
The albums kicks up with 'The Garden'.' This is the life we've been given. so open your mind and start living'. Simple thoughts express in simple words. But add the Take That touch and the song reaches greater heights. It starts softly with Mark Owen taking the lead followed by Gary, Jason and Howard.Slowly and steadily the tempo rises and peaks in the middle which again reaches at the level similar to the start. Every member has a different style of singing and this variation is what makes the garden works.
'Greatest Day' , the first single of the album follows 'the garden'. It's a strange choice for the first single since it is a grower. The lyrics are repetitive but once again Gary's voice shines. The 'hold on' chant by the other members blends perfectly well and though it takes some time, this song makes a space for itself in the listener's heart.
'Said it All' is brilliant. A typical ballad with perfect piano playing. Add to it the melancholic Gary's voice and you have a great pop song. The best part is Mark Owen contribution in the last stanza. He complements Gary's voice perfectly, which makes this song one of the best of the album.
'Julie' is a complete Mark Owen song. It include the cliches like 'sha-la-la-la' which may have sound cheesy coming from any other singer, but Mark pulls it off well. The song is similar to shine in its theme. Here Mark tries to cheer up Julie who is down in dumps. I am sure this song would have worked for those who were in low spirits.
'The circus' is a completely piano driven track and once again Gary shines. He croons 'everybody loves a circus show but I am the only clown you will ever know'. The pain in Gary's voice is visible and makes you go for the repeat key again.
Mark again takes over on 'Up all night'. It has a traditional guitar playing and a bucolic touch to it. The harmonies are nice and the stability in Mark's voice is commendable. Overall a fun-filled track which is bound to sound great in live performances.
Another standout track is 'Hold up a light'. It is dedicated to Take That fans. the violin usage is perfect and this time Mark's voice sounds grand and the majestic music along with great harmonies makes this song a sure chart-topper and is sure to send the crowd into a hysteria in live performances.
'How did it come to this' has Jason Orange take the mike. Though 'Wooden boat' was an excellent track performed by him in beautiful world, this one fails miserably due to its weird lyrics and not-likeable music.'What is love' is again a typical ballad and seems like a boyzone/westlife material but still it is refreshing to hear Howard come into picture. The problem with 'Hello' is that it is just like shine sans the enthusiasm. Though chirpy, it seems incongruous in the album. 'You' again fails with passable stanzas where it seems as if Gary is having a conversation rather than singing and is reduced to a filler status.
Overall a solid follow up to beautiful world, though the guys have to come up with something different in their next work lest their fans get tired of the repetitive kind of music. The circus is on the same lines of beautiful world and this could prove risky in the long run since a little bit of aberration is requires to keep the audience's interest alive.