The Road to Mandalay
Let Love Be Your Energy
If It's Hurting You
Singing for the Lonely
Love Calling Earth
Knutsford City Limits
By All Means Necessary
Kicked off by the release of Rock DJ, Robbie's third album came exactly a year after his sell-out Slane Castle Show.
It'd been a manic year, to say the least! Rarely off the radio or out of the papers, he'd collected armfuls of awards and played huge sell-out gigs. Yet somewhere amid the mayhem, he'd somehow found the time to make another album!
By now a national institution, the new album was a turning point - Robbie had finally found his confidence, not only to be more brash, but also to be more vulnerable...
"Every track is a solid track on this album. I want people to think, ‘oh, he's getting there isn't he?' you know? I want them to have a good time, be sad, be in different moods," he said.
Inspiration was taken from a catalogue of influences - from the Who-inspired Kids with Kylie, to the first release, Rock DJ, inspired in part by UNICEF mentor, the late Ian Dury.
The Road To Mandalay became an early favourite of Robbie's, inspired by his time in France. "I just picked up French vibes and started singing a French sort of melody. And then it's turned out to be the most, for me, touching song that I've written."
Snapped by photographer Paul M Smith, the album's artwork - along with Robbie's complete football strip (including a signed jockstrap!) - was later sold at Robbie's Bid It Sum auction to raise money for his charity, Give It Sum.
The ‘Sing' band included the familiar faces of Guy Chambers, Neil Taylor, Fil Eisler and Chris Sharrock.
As a perfect meeting of style and content, therefore, it's a masterpiece. This being another Robbie Williams record that says 'I am Robbie Williams, The Pop Star', the tunes here expertly (though maybe not as expertly or exuberantly as they did before) push your various pop-music buttons. Ian Dury (the single, 'Rock DJ'), The Divine Comedy ('Road To Mandalay'), Gloria Gaynor ('Love Supreme'), country music ('If It's Hurting You') and Krautrock (all right - but maybe next time)... all different stylistic bases are covered.
NME, August ‘00
At this point in his career, he could release a cover of Spinal Tap's Jazz Odyssey and watch it soar to number one. His star is so high that the News of the World recently ran a long interview with a woman he met in a New Zealand bar, despite the fact that her testimony revealed no bizarre sexual practices or anything else of interest.
The Guardian, August 2000
Robbie Williams, England's top entertainer of the moment, pulls from pop's past like a hip-hopper samples a groove, chasing lavish contemporary beauty. Known for crowd-pleasing shenanigans onstage, the former boy-band bad boy turns into a craftsman within the protective studio womb. On his second U.S. album, Williams and collaborator Guy Chambers achieve an audio spectacle showcasing their melodic wit and stylistic valor...
Rolling Stone, October 2000