Robbie Williams: In & Out of Consciousness: Greatest Hits 1990 – 2010

I’ll start this review by stating a simple fact; I love Robbie Williams. I loved him when he was a part of Take That’s original line-up back in the ’90s, I loved him all throughout his solo career, and I love him now. He’s the closest our generation has come to having an Elton John; a producer of guilty-pleasure, inescapable pop hits whose campy and fun persona is as much a part of his appeal as the songs themselves.

This is in fact Robbie’s second greatest hits compilation, with the first coming out back in 2004. Since then he’s released three albums (Intensive Care, Rudebox and Reality Killed the Video Star), none of which have produced any material that really warrants a second Greatest Hits compilation, but here we are nonetheless.

This is a more exhaustive list of Robbie’s successes than the previous compilation, and listening to the album is a pleasant reminder of just how many simultaneously throwaway and yet timeless hits Mr. Williams has had through the years, from ‘Angels’ to ‘Feel’, ‘No Regrets’ to ‘Kids’, ‘Rock DJ’ to ‘Come Undone’. Two original songs are included, recent single ‘Shame’ (a duet with Take That co-star Gary Barlow) and ‘Heart And I’ – sadly neither hold a candle to any of Robbie’s former glory, but what a glory it was in the day. This is a great addition to anyone’s CD library; just make sure you leave the record store with your purchase in a brown paper bag.

****

Tom Hoare