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.