Single Review: Take That – ‘Kidz’

Just workin’ on the ol’ “Grr” faces, are we boys…?

Somewhere in the distance, the distance of an abandoned car park in Chatsworth, Take That.v2 are clinging onto an upright piano for dear life whilst being surrounded by a swarm of lary teenagers hurling tin cans, empty chip boxes, beer bottles, fag ends, sticks, stones… it does rather beg the question as to why, doesn’t it?

Well, the reason why is because Take That.v1 are back will more growl than ever before. They, with the help of some riot police and a screaming chorus of angry children, are walking all over Take That.v2. And to think, it only took Robbie’s re-instatement within Take That to do it. He’s been pretty much the equivalent of an electric shock to their balls.

Armed with the song-writing capabilities of Gary Barlow, the producing prowess of Stuart Price, Mark Owen’s wheezy vocals, and Robbie Williams’ gutsy, candid lyricism and confident delivery, ‘Kidz’ is a riotous cacophony of attitude, synth, relentless hooks and a monolithic chorus. It starts with the sound of stomping boots closing in, and ends with the sound of police sirens and screams; every tiny detail is crafted perfectly, right down to each individual beat.

‘Kidz’ is quite a transformation for the group actually. Nowhere can you hear Gary’s typical minor key modulation as soon as the chorus arrives, nor is there any pop/rock guitar or their conventional four-chord piano structure. Gladly taking precedence and basking gloriously in the limelight is a dirty bassline, a stomping electronic production with enough energy to shake building foundations, pre-revolutionist lyrics, complete with a snotty post-chorus where Mark plays Liam Gallagher – “What ya lookin’ at?/Ya want a bit o’ that?” – look, it’s so snotty I even have to type it phonetically! Add in a few shouty “La la la”s courtesy of Mark and some more children’s choirs and voila! The perfect angry electro revolution in little over four minutes.

Although, I do have the slight sinking feeling that ‘Kidz’ will barely scrape the Top 20 here in the UK, where the corresponding album ‘Progress’ has already been certified 6x Platinum. You see, people will already have the album, which is detrimental to any further singles; you’d have thought maybe they’d have got away with at least one single after the album’s release but no, ‘Progress’ has sold so impressively already that they may have quite a task squeezing out successful singles herein.

Or… it could be the lack of video that’s preventing it from shooting up iTunes, Amazon, Play and HMV’s charts? Apparently it’s going to be one o’ them eye-peelers… shot in Bulgaria, did ya know? Shabba to that.

I’m all for change; variety, spice of life and all that, but it doesn’t take much observation of the ever-changing world of popular music in context to see that a lot of the time, change can be a bad thing. For instance, many male artists who have “gone electro” haven’t fared so well as many of the female artist who have, unless of course your name is Gabriella Cilmi because if that’s the case then anything you do gets unjustly shunned. Another change which could be put under a list (basically, a large square portion of the office wall) of “bad” decisions in at that counts as pop music would be ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’, which on it’s own is a very good, mature, grown-up song, but when you consider it was written by Scouting For Girls, you do get a little miffed at the fact it’s a little too grown-up for those guys.

Thankfully though, ‘Kidz’ is a step in the right direction for the reformed five-some and will only broaden their musical horizons. Now… where’s ‘S.O.S” release?

Rating: 5.0 STARS

Download: February 21, 2011 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: ‘Progress’

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  1. Gerard McGarry

    Not a fan of this tune at all. I don’t think it’s particularly the best use of electro in a pop single. But easily the biggest turn off is Mark Owen’s voice. I hate to be so down on the guy, but it was easy to overlook his vocals when he was a cutesy boybander. However, his voice hasn’t improved with time – it’s weaker than ever, despite whatever studio trickery may have been on hand to polish his raw vocal.

    It’s nice that they’ve given Robbie and Gary a bit of a presence, but because Mark is front and center on this track, it’s ruined for me.

  2. Gilthoniel

    This is such an amazing new single from Take That! It clearly demonstrates the change in musical direction that Progress presented, which wasn’t exactly obvious in the first single The Flood. Mark Owen’s vocals are perfect for this song, they’re not smooth and soothing, but neither is the song, so it’s a match made in heaven. I quite like this new Take That!

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