Robbie Williams – Bodies – Single Review

Robbie Williams - Bodies

Let’s admit it, reviewing Robbie’s comeback single, Bodies, isn’t going to be easy. The die hard posse only want positive things written, but there’s something in the nation’s consciousness that wants this to be shit.

And we’ve even seen some large-scale fan mutinies lately – U2 and Green Day have been openly criticised for their latest studio efforts, so the music-buying public might not be at their most receptive to comeback attempts right now.

What impresses me about Bodies is that Robbie manages to mung together the promised Gregorian chants, string section, lurching electronica during the verses and gospel choirs. Over the top of this thick musical soup, Robbie raps about “Jesus really tried for me” and how “all we really wanted was to look good naked”. Trying to make sense of the lyrics is pointless, so don’t bother trying.

You’ll be reminded how Robbie sometimes sounds like he’s thoroughly bored – that’s how he drawls through most of the lyrics to this tune. However, there’s a hint of his old Pet Shop Boys collaboration, Millennium in this tune.

Perhaps the thing that’s missing at this point is a funky video with Robbie gurning charmingly at the camera. The sad thing – and here comes the anti-hype – is that without that video clip, the song itself doesn’t have much personality. Yes, there’s an understated anthem going on around the chorus, but it completely fails to excite. Some of the lyrics I mentioned above are marginally memorable.

Considering that Take That have managed to break all expectations during their reunion, I would have thought Robbie might want to up his game in order to reclaim some credibility for himself. This isn’t quite the triumphant return that many commentators were expecting, including myself. Most underwhelming. Sorry, but that’s how I feel.

Agree? Disagree? Listen to the song below and drop me a comment.

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  1. Anonymous

    Sounds like Robbie’s been listening to some old Depeche Mode tunes and lyrics …. but then turning it all into a “cut and paste”, badly thrown together pop song mush. Too much going on and clearly too much money spent on the production, the choirs etc.  Could have been written for an X-Factor winner, would have been better left for them to shovel up.  Shame, had expected much better from Robbie.  Still, there’s always another Take That album to look forward to next year.  

    1. Modeman

      With respect , please don’t associate Robbie Williams with Depeche Mode! The latter are far more superior than Robbie could ever be!

      That said , don’t mind this tune , it’s growing on me

  2. K

    It kind of sounded like Ian Brown in ‘The Fear’


    I don’t like Robbie Williams, I was dying for it to be crap, and it is.

  3. RandomEnigma

    This single isn’t actually being released until late October. Let’s wait for a music video and see what we think then. I quite like this song and I’m not even a Robbie Williams fan.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Stylistically, it wouldn’t tick any boxes for me, regardless if Robbie was behind it or somebody else. Neither do I particularly hate Robbie, but I also believe there was a time when he thought he could release any old rubbish and people would buy it. Hence Rudebox.

  4. Anonymous

    Actually, no, I think it was a brave effort to venture out and put out and album that was not “expected” from him (rudebox).  I always find it funny how music “critics” or bloggers or whatever it is, don’t give any of these people credit for what they are.  As far as I’m concerned, no one commenting on him (you, me or the above commentators) have singing, dancing, or any talent whatsoever that would make us millionaires.  Regardless if you think he has a voice or not, he has done more in his life than any of us have ever done and will probably do.  I wonder if this is something that makes a lot of people bitter about him and want him or other public figures, to fail.  The fact that you think you could do better but yet you haven’t.  One of those life mysteries I suppose.  Give credit where it is deserved, he takes chances, writes his own thing and like it or not, he is one of the most recognizable British singers in the world.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Let me address that comment – “no one commenting on him (you, me or the above commentators) have singing, dancing, or any talent whatsoever that would make us millionaires.”

      Whether it’s a painting or a novel or a single by a former boybander, people will love it or hate it. Blogs and forums are a place where people can state their opinions. I always try to reason out why I don’t like something, rather than just flat-out slate it.

      However, one thing I will acknowledge is that I appreciate the creative work that goes into producing a single or album. Funnily enough, I’m always aware of that when I do a review, but at the end of the day, if something doesn’t live up to expectations you have to be honest and say so.

      1. Anonymous

        First off, I was never a Robbie or Take That fan.  But their recent work has made me reconsider.

        This effort from Robbie I have to say is both brilliant and gutsy.  Given that John Lennon took an immense amount of sh*t for saying The Beatles were bigger than Jesus, I take my hat off to Robbie for having a chorus that states “Jesus didn’t die for you”!!

        I feel it’s a return to form and whilst I’m not a church-goer, I don’t agree with the sentiment of the song.  But then I don’t have to in order to enjoy it, it’s a fabulous piece of pop designed to entertain and challenge!!


  5. Mark

    I myself have always admired robbie’s music up until rudebox of course.  This tune dosent even fit in with mainstream music of today. As mentioned up above, its like its been cut and paste by a 3 year old, the lyrics make no sense what so ever.  Chris Moyles predicted this would be a grower.  Well certainly not for me im afraid.  Lets hope for Robbies sake that the album is 100 times better.

  6. Sam

    Think it´s great, but not what I had expected, I´m really surprised.

    Think it´s a good tune, but hey it´s pop music.

  7. lauren

    Robbie, crawl back under your rock. There’s so much amazing new music around right now. You blew your chance, when you was a rather large big head.

    I will credit him for being brave, especially of the absoloute failure of rudebbox. But seriousely man.. Jesus, naked, rhyming just for the sake of it..

    Get over yourself.

  8. Anonymous

    …that he had completely ripped off Ian Brown’s ‘The Fear’ (even though there is certainly no comparison between King Monkey and King Prick Robbie)

    This song is mindless rubbish and doesn’t even deserve to be the subject of debate…..

  9. Autumn Queen

    I heard this on the radio one morning and the first thing I did was yell at my boyfriend ‘OH GOD THIS SUCKS!’  All we ever wanted is to look good naked; that part of the lyric was just BAD and not a sexy kinda bad, but a washed up has-been old pervy looking guy kinda way.

  10. ceebeegeebee

    after watching robbie on sky one in concert at leeds a few years ago, openly bragging to the crowd the fact he had a sell out tour and take that were (at that time) nowhere! i am now glad take that are doing very well, and robbie is fighting for his life to do well again with his new single, well i’m sorry this ir rubbish, and i’m glad, after slagging off take that, when he was doing well, he deserves to fall flat on his arse! yes it will go straight to number one, because of all the media hype, but that will be it!

    sorry robbie it’s another rudebox!

  11. Anonymous

    In the review you stated “Trying to make sense of the lyrics is pointless, so don’t bother trying.” in fact the lyrics are very recognisable if you know your Bible.

    i don’t know what is motivating Robbie Williams to write about Jesus and the Bible but i, for one think he makes perfect sense…just not sure it works as a pop song. people are calling it an anthem but i can’t see it!

    i hope he has found some kind of peace with God…he needed it!

  12. Anonymous

    Robbie on the x-factor the other night. His eyes were all over the place; those of a washed up ex(?)-junkie and his constant cries of “thank-you” show some measure of pathetic desperation. He has unfortunately lost his presence as the performer and show man that people liked.

    It is a shame. When he was at the top of his game – he was good… but I don’t think he’ll ever get back there. He’s too depressed and messed up.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Yes, I saw his performance on X Factor, and yes he seemed to be a little over-exuberant, kind of the way my dog goes nuts when he knows its time for a walk!

      However, in his defense, his performance was energetic and top notch. He took Bodies, a song I didn’t like (see the above review) and made it pretty good. I thought his performance was quite powerful and he was quite the showman.

  13. Anonymous

    heard this song for the first time on the car radio with my 14 year old daughter – we both burst out laughing. I then proceded to turn it up to see if it really was that bad…it was.

    It doesn’t even feel as if robbie is fully committed to the track – perhaps his comeback is premature. 

  14. Anonymous

    I like the chorus, its the best bit of the song but I don’t like the verse’s, I dunno singing about Bodies in the cemetary is a bit creepy and I can’t work out what Robbie is trying to express in this song. This song is maybe closer to the feel of the Rudebox album rather than a song in a new direction

    IMO Thought Alexander Burke performed better than Robbie on X Factor

  15. Anonymous

    Robbie Williams is probably the best example I’ve seen of a record label backing the wrong horse and then desperately trying to reclaim their marketing budget. Remember there is nothing that scares mainstream ‘pop’ producers more than talent, and from that point of view these ‘boydancers’ are ideal for tapping into the ‘X-factor’ market of people who don’t really understand the difference between talent and hype. The real tragedy here is that the more acts like this are pushed, the more damage is done to the UK’s worldwide reputation as innovators in pop.

  16. Anonymous

    Jonathon Ross once revealed how Robbie Williams used to wear make-up to make it ‘look like he was on drugs’ before appearing on TV. Presumable his thins that what real pop stars do.

    What a tragedy of a man.

  17. james

    this is a real grower, and reading alot of viewer comments it seems im not the only one who thinks that, damn good tune, verses are a bit iffy but overall a good job rob!

  18. Anonymous

    I´m from Spain and as you will guess, most of us don´t understand a single word of the lyrics so i´m pretty sure it will be an overnight success, not only in Spain but also in France, Italy and so on (mostly because of the media, of course). Anyway I like the song, but above all, I would like to know what kind of message he is sending. I don´t agree with the opinion of “there´s no point in trying to understand it”.

  19. Henning Simonsen

    It´s good, and like someone else here mentioned, a grower. I am not a fan of Robbie at all, but I do like quite a few of his songs, just because they are great popsongs. Normally I´m into much rockier stuff.

    Anyway, the lyrics to “Bodies” makes me think “Hmmm…what exactly is his point”?  As a christian myself, it´s great to hear “Jesus died for me” and “Jesus really tried for me”. – On the other hand he also sings “Jesus didn´t die for you (What are you on)?”, while the choir ends it all up by sticking to “Jesus died for you”.

    So….either he is just really sarcastic OR he puts up the dichotomy of wanting to believe in Christ, but still having strong doubts that try to make him stay clear of the Gospel.  I hope to find the answer to the lyrics soon!!!

  20. Anonymous

    I have been a Robbie fan for some time. Some of his songs really hit the spot, most however a rather forgetful, even painful. I think that this song falls into the latter. Robbie seems like he is losing it – both in terms of his song writing capability and his looks. The media has made much of his gaining lots of weight and losing it quickly for his new come back. I don’t think he has lost enough. He still looks overweight for the sex symbol that he was and is still trying to be and his charisma in this video seems to be failing. He is losing me as a fan ……. but then, he has lost my interest in the past only to come up with a great song and get it back again. Let’s see if he can do it again

  21. SuMiT

    Robbie is the Energy

    Every body just follow me

    feel the song like me

    robbie is the perfection

    I like the connection.

    Robbie LOve U

  22. Ruan

    Robbie sings here about how Jesus and Christianity takes away the God-given freedom and that God is really the only one that should matter and that Christianity and Jesus is not the only path to God! Christians tends to think they fucking own God!

    Christianity is there only to controll, kill and abuse and has been twisted so far from the raw truth many centuries ago!

    Then showed me my LIFELINE
    I was told it WAS all MINE
    Then I got LAID on a LEYLINE
    What a day, What a day…
    And YOUR (not mine) Jesus really died for me
    Then JESUS really TRIED (didn’t succeed) for me

    Well done for singing about the truth! I love the song and lyrics!

  23. Anonymous

    The guitar in the chorus should be way more forward, because it isn’t the chorus sounds kind of half hearted apart from that its a really good song

  24. Anonymous

    A very good job, Robbie. I like your magnificent style telling ambiguous partial comments and making it a large piece of accusation against the sometimes obscenes believers in action, word and thinking. Your song moves to action for many places, not for one place once every time, and your lyrics ripple like a fresh and windy flag. Also an excellent catchy tune accompaning your encoded lyrics. This way of composing your all final video performance makes me wonder if you come from the outer space and beyond,, and a serious and fantastic work. Thank you for your new single, Robbie!

    1. cvs from s.a

      I’ve now listened to “Bodies” 3 x consecutively and am astounded by its total lack of spark…which one would rightly expect from a so-called comeback single by the likes of Robbie W. It’s just extremely average pop, without any memorable chorus and the lyrics are non-sensical…one might even say it’s cut and paste together lines of rubbish. Never mind appreciating it more after having seen the video – a song that is good enough should be able to stand on its own, without having to rely on a gimmicky video. What is surprising is that “Bodies” reached such a high UK chart position – surely it says a lot about the listening public’s inability to differentiate between average and outstanding music. But listen to the new single “You Know Me” – although not near any of Robbie’s finest moments, it’s a better, above average effort (and would have been a better choice as lead single) – the refrain borrowed from 60’s chanteuse Francoise Hardy’s “Voila” adds a bit of much needed colour.    

      1. Mambo

        I am more concern about the message in which he tries to attract people, first like he now has change to be a Christyan, and singing about Jesus really die for me!!! That is NOT true, I notice upon the video the number in the bike, so with this you can see the hidden message just as Satan will do, he is hypocrite… Notice the bike shows a six in front, a six at the left, and the Robbie puts his arm at the left and has a tattoo with this number (1023), if you add that is another 6, so is a 666, so at the end, he is singing all this confusing crap, because he is with Satan, hidden messages are what attacks people minds and work out our subconcience, we have to be careful, I do not think he has convert in to  a Christian, he is just trying to manipulate us to make us believe in that change, but with hidden messages, he is trying to change our minds to convert all the way around, SO DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE in this case, the only believe is that Jesus really die for us, that he show us humility and good, and we know because the holy spirit is in our soul, that Jesus existed, That I believe with out seeing, because he has send us peace, love, etc… No this bunch of lies that Robbie is singing, that confuses, the same way the snake did with Eve, careful, and God bless you all, lets pray for Robbie soul, lets pray so that the holy spirit do touch Robbies heart, and then believe in god.

        That was fore the lyrics part, that create confusion, the song is really bad, I think he will atrack audience on the beggining, but at the end people will just feel frustrated, and will not approve this song, this is not a song that will stay or make history.

        Now as for all his music material, he is just trying to make pop music on his old way, pervert way, un ethical, but at the end, some people will follow up on him, and some people will be as I am very dissapointed

        Really bad, I give him a thumbs down!!!!

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