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1997 was an important year. Ok maybe not for all of us but it was memorable for me due to the fact that I had been waiting to get my hands on this debut album from Robbie for what seemed like an age.
I was a massive Take That fan though, was and always be a massive fan of what I consider the talent to be...Mr Gary Barlow. However as a fan of the band as a whole when Robbie left (Which in my opinion was the downfall of Take That!) I was wanting to see as a solo artist what Robbie had on offer and whether it was worth him going alone.
The whole album has a runtime of 52 minutes and consists of 11 tracks.
1) Lazy Days
2) Life Thru A Lens
3) Ego A Go Go
5) South Of The Border
6) Old Before I Die
7) One Of God's Better People
8) Let Me Entertain You
9) Killing Me
11) Baby Girl Window
What can I say about this album to do it justice? I can't say I'm Robbie's biggest fan, as a person he kinds gets on my wick a bit however this anticipated album by me and alot of the general public didn't disappoint and for me it still doesn't and I admit I play this one loads!
Each track, for me is better than the last one and whats nice about this album is that I don't find myself skipping tracks ever.......I love them all equally which is why I am not going to give an opinion on each track individually...nothing stands out as its all excellent.
At the time this was released it was well known that Robbie had 'issues' with Oasis and an ongoing row with them it was, it never seemed to ease up however I feel that this is very cap your hat to that band with a slight feel of that band to some of Robbies tracks particulary the track Lazy days.
What you get with this is a real mix, theres a lot of rhyming in some lyrics and then we go from heavily based guitar songs to piano based one, all with ease. Let me entertain you and Angels of course which were number ones are on this album, released before the album was released so I believe. I love the songs Clean which I feel is a song where he is letting us into his thoughts at the time which is great and catchy and One of gods better people to me shows what a great singing voice he actually has.
All in all I can't praise this album enough really! I didn't expect to love it so much and thought I'd have some critisms of it and in all honesty I don't. It isn't a particularly deep album and I did expect him to be a bit self indulgent with it (he isn't at all in my view) but its a great mix with all of the tracks fabulous on it and this is what led me to buying all of Robbie's albums to which I listen to often. Its quite a mature offering, not very 'pop' and yup its simply superb! Nuff said!
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
Robbie Williams first album contains a lot of thinly disguised references to the ending of his career and his new found freedom as a solo artist. Tracks like Ego A Go Go and Killing Me have the most direct resonances with his life in Take That but in retrospect it was not really necessary, Robbie's success has meant that the memory of Take That has been well and truly buried.
The singles for this album were enormously successful and justifiably so. 'Angels' stands comparison with any pop standard and will doubtless be sung by covering artists for years to come. 'Old Before I Die' has a neat twist to the Who song in which they hope they die before they get old and 'Let Me Entertain You' is destined to take pride of place in Robbie's live act for a long time.
Some of the tracks seem a little ordinary looking back 'Lazy days', 'Clean' and 'Baby Girl Window' might not make the grade if it were a current Robbie album. This was though an album which established him after Take That and the musical style which Robbie adopted was moving inexorably towards Rock and away from Boy Band cuteness. The surprise comes from the strength of Robbie's voice on the acoustic 'One Of God's Better People' and the funky 'South Of The Border' he shows he is better off on his own. It might be the first Robbie album after Take That but he was already streets ahead of them.
I doubt there are many Robbie fans who don't have the album already but if you haven't got it - and you don't need to be mad about Robbie to like this -I would recommend it.
This was the debut album that launched the solo career of Robbie Williams and was the one that showed that the "fat dancer" from Take That (quote from one of the Gallagher brothers) actually had the talent to survive on his own, nowadays he may be on unofficial strike and not producing any music but this was a good album which showed a lot of promise.
This is tehe album which has his signature song Angels which is a great ballad and is still his favourite live song which has the crowd singing along. Old before I die is one of those songs that reflects his state of mind at the time of the split and also shows the self destructive streak that seems to run through Mr Williams.
The other big hit off the album Let Me Entertain You is a good high tempo song with echoes of Queen and the late great Freddie Mercury to it, a rousing song belted out with gusto by Williams.
There is a nice balance to this album, Killing Me is a good track and reverts to the dark side of his music and I like South of the Border as well.
Overall a good album and worth having in your collection.
1) Lazy Days
2) Life Thru A Lens
3) Ego A Go Go
5) South Of The Border
6) Old Before I Die
7) One Of God's Better People
8) Let Me Entertain You
9) Killing Me
11) Baby Girl Window
When Robbie Williams split from Take That following a disagreement in 1996 and he announced he would be starting a solo career, many were not sure. Gary Barlow had been the main driving vocal talent behind Take That. The other problem was the contract preventing him from releasing anything solo for a certain length of time after splitting from the rest of the band.
This may have worked out to have been a good move, as Williams' first album, 'Life Thru A Lens', was a smash success, reaching the number 1 chart spot. The time between the split and when he released the album in 1997 may have been instrumental in the balance of the tracks on the album. The album features hits such as 'Angels', and 'Let Me Entertain You'.
These are the tracks:
1. Lazy Days
2. Life Thru A Lens
3. Ego A Go Go
5. South Of The Border
6. Old Before I Die
7. One Of God's Better People
8. Let Me Entertain You
9. Killing Me
11. Baby Girl Window
There is also a poem recited by Williams at the end of track 11, entitled 'Hello Sir', but you have to wait until around 10 or 11 minutes on the track for it to play. It's well worth waiting for, and is a poem to his former careers advisor at school, who told him he would amount to nothing in showbiz!!!!
This is an album with a few hits, 'Old Before I Die' being one of note as a first attempt at a solo career, along with the aforementioned 'Angels' and 'Let Me Entertain You'. There are 3 wonderful soft melodic ballads in 'One Of God's Better People', 'Killing Me' and 'Baby Girl Window'. The rest of the album fits an upbeat pop album, with the exception of 'Clean', which I thought was out of place and made me frown if anything. Not a fan of this track, nor was I of the title track and 'Ego A Go Go', although these two did not seem out of place.
There is not a lot of range of different music, indeed as a first album it was maybe important for this to be the case. I liked this about the album as it meant that, with the exception of 'Clean', I was content to listen to the album all the way through without being distracted by it - I was able to relax in listening to it.
I rate this album at 4 stars out of 5. There isn't a great deal of variety, which can be taken as a positive as well as a negative, yet the one track seems to be out of place. A couple of weak songs near the beginning is a shame, but the rest make up for it. A very good album, one I am glad to have.
The album is available to buy on amazon.co.uk for £0.01, used .
This review may also be posted on ciao.
Thanks for reading.
I absolutley love robbie, i have since his days in take that, and that has been some years ago.
Robbie became even more famous as a solo artist after take that split than he ever was as a bay band member.
Life thru a lens is my favorite album of robbies and i would class his type of music on this album as soft rock unlike his newer stuff that i cant stand the sound of, i must be getting old.
This cd has 11 fantastic songs on it
life thru a lens
ego a go go
south of the border
old before i die
one of gods better people
let me entertain you
baby girl window
I didnt optionally choose to buy this cd but after a night in the pub where i had draged my brother up on the karaoke to sing angels with me he wanted to learn the song as he had spent most of the song humming as he didnt know the song and was too drunk by then to read the screen so the next day i brought this album so he could learn the words which i now regret because years later and me a bit more shy than in my youth he still drags me up at every karaoke because he is so proud that this is the only song he knows all the words too,
that said though he isnt bad at singing it but i wouldnt tell him that as his head is big enough.
This realy is a great album and there is not one song on there i dislike
Just to give you the background on where this review is written from, Robbie is my favourite musical act, I have seen him live in concert just the once and I completely rebuff any of the critics of him - as I have to do very often! I admit the man himself probably has personal issues, but I am writing these reviews simply to analyse his music, and as all of the songs on every one of his albums has at least 40 plays (most as many 100!) on my itunes, I think I come from quite a knowledgable place!
Life thru a Lens is an album often forgotten about by many Robbie fans. For me, it is the most fun album to listen to and includes what I feel are three of his best songs, Angels, South of the Border and One of God's Better People.
Lazy Days, Old Before I Die - Have a very distinctive sound which, lyrically, maybe sum Robbie up more than any other at this time. He was trying to find a distinctive sound from Take That, and succeeded here.
Life Thru a Lens - As title tracks go, this is a fairly weak one. However, as typical, Rob seems to transmit so much of his life through this record. You really get the feeling that he was living his life through a lens at the time, and this song sums that up.
Ego a go go - A very upbeat song, one of Rob's first 'rockers'. Very little negative to say about the song, performed brilliantly in his early touring days.
South of the Border - One of my favourite songs and probably my favourite song on the album. As always, very catchy lyrics and a good hook on the chorus. For many Robbie fans, however, it will always be tinged with sadness as it only charted at 14 and many thought this overweight, drugged up and seemingly off the rails artist was finished.
Angels - The next release on the album is probably Williams' most famous song. It is the song that he will always be remembered for and for a long time will be the most played song at both weddings and funerals. This however, is not a reflection on its original success. It charted at 4! I am not going to go on and on as would be easy for this song - I simply couldn't do it justice.
Let Me Entertain You - Another upbeat song that followed on from the success of Angels. Charted in the top three and is widely regarded as one of his most successful songs.
Clean, Killing Me, Baby Girl Window - Three album tracks, nothing spectacular!
Robbie Williams, you either love or hate him. I fall into the first category, I love his music. Although I wasn't too keen on his first solo offering after leaving Take That (a dodgy cover of Freedom) I couldn't help but be warmed and dazzled by the lyrics and sound of Angels. Even though Angels was a bloody good song, it wasn't an excuse to rush out and buy a copy of Robbie's new album and so I decided to hold back, tame my wild urges and wait for a few more singles to be released prior to purchasing. It took some time for the other singles to be released from the album, but I finally decided it was worthwhile to purchase in the early part of 1998 and off I trotted to Our Price where I parted with 11.99 GBP for a copy. As far as album covers go, they usually fall into two categories, either they are a way of inflating an artists ego even further or they are just down right weird. The cover to Life Thru a Lens seems to relate a little to Robbie's life at the time (constantly in the media eye) and as such shows Robbie standing stone faced surrounded by photographers and camera crews. It looks stylish to say the least. Life Thru a Lens was recorded and released in 1997 and was Robbie's first solo album. Many doubted he would make it on his own as they saw Gary Barlow (and what's he doing what now?!?!) as the only talent in Take That. Oh how wrong they were. Life Thru a Lens is made up of 11 tracks with 2 bonus tracks at the end of track 11. They are: 1 Lazy Days 2 Life Thru A Lens 3 Ego A Go Go 4 Angels 5 South Of The Border 6 Old Before I Die 7 One Of God's Better People 8 Let Me Entertain You 9 Killing Me 10 Clean 11 Baby Girl Window 1 Lazy Days A slow yet powerful song, backed by a full band that utilise both the guitars and drums. Robbie belts out this song however the lyrics are distorted and it's obvious. I
t isn't a bad thing, but you get the feeling it just wouldn't be the same live. Not a groundbreaking track but it's bloody catchy and very easy to listen to. It doesn't offend the ears (which is always a bonus) and was one of the singles although unsuccessful in the charts that made me consider buying the album. 9/10 (Yep, it's that catchy!) 2 Life Thru A Lens More of what has now become a Robbie track. The vocals are raw and more upfront with the backing again provided by lead & bass guitars and rather subdued drums. The actual lyrics aren't memorable and to be honest have very little meaning! "So go home and wash the dishes, and wash them well, so he can't tell". - Erm......, yeah, ok! Even though it's not exactly a masterpiece, once again, it's got a catchy tune behind it and a cracking chorus. 7/10 3 Ego A Go Go A more jazzy feel to this track. The lyrics are instantly forgettable. 5/10 4 Do I really need to describe this song?!?!? A beautiful slow ballad that sung wonderfully and accompanied mainly by a piano solo. This track is a masterpiece and is truly timeless. Pure magic and worth the purchase price alone. 11/10 5 South Of The Border Upbeat with Robbie attempting (and failing) to produce his own brand of rap, rather than actually singing. The backing to the song has very little fluency until the chorus kicks in and rescue's it. Poor start, marvellous chorus, crap end! 5/10 6 Old Before I Die A rock song. Great guitar intro and the lyrics are again distorted to amazing effects. Without the distortion, the track would have no balance. The lyrics appeal and I can relate to the words. "Well tonight I'm gonna live for today, so come along for the ride, I hope I'm old before I die." It's
a catchy wee bugger of a song in the same vein as Lazy Days. 8/10 7 One Of God's Better People A slow and rather out of place track to be honest. Although the lyrics have meaning and are sung really well, it lacks something to push it along. This is a track that's easy to listen to, it falls between Angels (slow, smooth love ballad) and Old Before I Die (ballsy rock) but does nothing really to appeal or set itself out from the rest of the tracks. 4/10 8 Let Me Entertain You "Hell is gone and Ciao is here, there's nothing left for you to fear, shake your ass come over here, now scream" This is another ballsy rock track. An amazing intro of piano and guitar with some serious kick ass drums thrown in for good measure. The lyrics are plain, simple and to the point. They aren't going to win any awards and aren't exactly groundbreaking, but catchy they are and that's what counts. This song will have you tapping your feet and humming all day long. 10/10 9 Killing Me An example of poor songwriting, production and how not to make a song sound. 1/10 10 Clean Bouncy and upbeat, the lyrics are poor and thoughtless and do nothing to draw the listener in. It's only saving grace is the backing to the song which in my opinion is one of the best bits of writing I heard on the track bar Angels and Let Me Entertain You. 3/10 11 Baby Girl Window Slow and melodic, but lacks any sort of appeal to me personally. It neither uses the music to grab your attention and lacks any sort of meaning when it comes to the lyrics. As my Maths teacher would used to say "must try harder!" 3/10 Overall, taking into consideration that this was the first album released following a very troubled period in his life, Robbie has produced in my opinion a very attractive album.
Yes, it has it's weak moments, but I can't think of any album's that don't suffer a bad track or two. The good well outweighs the bad points on the album and for only 11.99 GBP I can't grumble for the cracking tracks that have been added to my collection. If you're looking for a touch of easy listening music coupled with one or two light rock songs then this is for you.
How could Robbie prove his critics that he wasn't a "fat dancer"? He released this album. I know a lot of people would disagree but the opening track, lazy days, is Robbies best piece of work. Its not quite a ballad, its not quite rock but nor is it pop. A crackin song Life through lens is not a very exciting song but its listenable to, however he rhymes tell with well. Possibly one of his earlier songs? Ego a go go is a clever song poking fun at his arrogant misdemener. The song itself owes a lot to the tune rather than the jokey lyrics but it is a good song Angels is the track which made Robbie the massive artist he is today. If you haven't heard it where have you been? South of the border and old before i die are good rock songs which have a similar feel to them, both were released and both did quite well in the charts. One of gods better people slows the rock vibe down, and this is Robs attempt at a ballad. A nice song but Mr.Barlow was writing better ballads years ago. The infamous video for the cracking song. Let me entertain you adds another depth to this album. It up lifts the whole album and is a song that if you hear at a club everyone can sing to and dance to. Killing me and clean are songs about his life, drugs and getting rid of them. Nothing more than album tracks. The final track is a beautiful song. Baby girl window is a lovely way to fill the album. But leave the final track running for a little goodbye poem from Rob. All in all this is a good album
These days Robbie Williams is the ultimate Pop Idol. Its hard to believe that when he left Take That in 1995 no-one thought he’d make it. He made a heroic attempt to prove all the doubters correct becoming more famous for his over indulgence of drink, drugs and pies than for his performing ability. His only single was a cover of George Michael’s Freedom, which if I remember correctly was beaten to #1 by some instantly forgettable mush from, horror of horrors, Gary Barlow. However he was laying the groundwork for future success by ditching the pretence of being a pop brat and mixing with the rock aristocracy of the time – Oasis. Whether Noel actually gave him any song writing lessons may be open to question but the sound of his 1st album is definitely tuneful melodic indie rock ….. ring any bells? The real boost came in 1997 when he was introduced to Guy Chambers with whom he writes all his songs. Their partnership was a meeting of minds both seeking that extra something and they connected straight away and managed to write their 1st song “South of the Border” within ½ hour of meeting. The 1st album Life thru a Lens was released in late 97 but was not a massive success initially. The 1st 3 singles Old before I die, Lazy Days and South of the Border reached #2,8 and 14 respectively and while this is impressive it didn’t live up to the hype. All that changed with Angels, it may only have reached #7 but everyone knows this song and Robbie’s career went into hyperdrive The 1st album shows Robbie trying to develop his sound with mixed results, Song by song: - Lazy days A definite statement of intent, ditching all Take That nice boy band pop traits, and opting instead for an Indie-Lite feel with 2 chord fuzz tone guitars over which Robbie croons a song of hope and change. Life Thru a Lens The trials and tribulations of being a celebrity, ah the poor po
ppit. This sounds horribly 80’s and vocally reminds me of Billy Joel’s “we didn’t start the fire” Ego A Go-Go Musically this starts and ends sounding like Beck at his grooviest and in the middle is a bile filled rock out. This seems to be about his former life in Take That and his dislike for a certain portly member of that band whose initial are GB and rubbing his nose on it. Angels The one we’re all waiting for, the song that was “Our Song” for a million relationships, launched Robbie into the big league and is murdered at every Karaoke party and Pop Idols audition. It would be hard to pick 10 decent ballads but this would definitely make it, it’s still incredibly beautiful: mellow piano led verses, soaring chorus and an aching guitar break. As he strives to sing the “through it all..” you can see that whilst proficient Robbie isn’t a great singer but somehow it feels just right. South of the Border From the highs to the lows, late 70’s rock with midnight piano and Robbie’s rhyming Simon style of vocals – very forgettable. Old Before I Die Whatever happened to the Who’s rock star motto? This however is an excellent song all indie guitars and another big chorus which again highlights Robbie’s distinctive voice. One of Gods Better People Another ballad, this time Robbie accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. Perfectly pleasant but in comparison to the rest of the album it appears to be the unfinished article as if they were laying down a guide track but then stopped. Let Me Entertain You This could be Robbie’s theme son, and personally I can’t separate the song from the Kiss styled video. Robbie is more than just a singer his aim is to entertain, and he achieves it in spades. A great rock song – funky drumming, a blasting horn section, rolling stone piano and crashing g
uitar this is the sound of Robbie and co letting rip, having a great time and making the best song on the album. Killing Me This one bugs the hell out of me; it sounds so like another song that I can’t place – all help gratefully accepted. This has a mellow vibe, prompted by a string section to which RW can croon to. Clean The current talk is that Robbie will record the last song Ian Dury ever wrote. If his ability to do it justice is in doubt check this track out which is in Blurs country house mockney style and carried off with panache, if only the Stoke accent would go, Baby Girl Window A lullaby for his goddaughter to end with, this is an incredibly fragile song with a simple acoustic riff and laid back vocals of a touching love At 12:47 there is a bonus track which is an unaccompanied poem about a former teacher who thought Robbie should concentrate on something more serious rather than becoming a song and dance man. Well unlike millions of others Robbie had his break and made it work for him and this comes across as a petulant schoolboy rant in a schoolboy poem. Definitely missable. The packaging is quite good: it features all the lyrics, and the credits are interesting to see his thank you to the other Take That’ers plus his list of celebrity mates of the time: The Gallaghers, Elton John and Anna Friel. The pictures are kind of freaky though as they are meant to show the hassle of being a popstar but all I can think is how young (and poorly dressed) Robbie looks – thank god the skinhead looks gone. I remember a review of all the ex-Take That 1st solo albums which compared Gary Barlow to a chipolata, Mark Owen to a good pork sausage and this album to a piece of Rump steak. In truth this is more of a lamb chop – good to listen to, a few bits of gristle, but not quite of the high quality which Robbie reached with his later albums.
The ever-popular Robbie Williams gives us something real special here (well for fans of his style of music). Robbie Williams is the only successful member of Take that to go onto a successful solo career, and here is one of his albums reviewed track by track: Lazy Days: As with a lot of Robbie?s music you may recognise this from TV programs as backing music, this song is one of his more popular songs as it has got good lyrics and a nice backing to it, which combined with his singing ability brings us a very good introduction song. Life Thru a lens: As the title of the album you expect this song to be one of the better songs, but there is a problem with this as there are no songs which stick out like a sore thumb as the quality is very good throughout the album, and this song has a cheerful sound to it with a good solid set of lyrics which are quite amusing if you listen to them. Ego a Go Go: This song has a different sound and feel to it as it is done differently to most of the other music on the album, this song has got a nice cheerful sound to it with a cheerful set of instruments in the background, we are given a real good set of songs to start of the album, once again with this song if you listen closely to the lyrics they are quiet amusing and intriguing, a well made song. Angles: Well this is probably his most popular song; it has a nice slow pace to it combined with a nice piano backing the song, with a nice drum beat introduced later on in the song, also the lyrics in this song are really good as they all make sense unlike a lot of groups which write stuff with no meaning, yet again we are given a superb track on this superb album so far. South of the boarder: This song has a good beat to it all the way through, the song also has a fast and to the point set of lyrics, unlike most of the other songs this one starts of fast then slows down and then speeds up again a nice variation in this song. Old before I
die: This is another one of his more popular songs, with a nice set of touching lyrics and Robbie?s Singing ability shines through in this song , once again we are given a good set of lyrics with a meaning which is the good thing about his songs, a cracking song. One of Gods better people: This is a nice slow paced song with a nice guitar in the background of the song, the song is another one of those which is slow for about 45 seconds then speeds up for about 15 seconds then goes back to the slow paced song it was at the start, a nice song with a nice set of lyrics to go with it. Let me entertain you: This is his most popular and known song with out a doubt as it has a fast paced set of lyrics a good drum beat throughout and this is Robbie at his best, the lyrics in this song are superb as they are about life and living it to the max, a superb song as we get to the closing stages of the album, and the quality doesn?t slump at all. Killing me: After the previous fast paced song we goe back to the slower style which Robbie also is good at, this song offers a decent set of lyrics with a nice soft background to it and a good song to sit back and chill out to. Clean: This is a more humours style of singing by Robbie and noticeable is the good drum beat throughout the song which mixes well with the singing to give us a nice song near the end of the album, the song combines many styles of music done by Robbie you have fast paced, slower paced music. Baby girl window: Well here we are at the final track of what has been a decent album by Robbie, the question being will we be given a good send off? The answer is yes we are given a 14 minute long song which actually only lasts for about 3 minutes, but has a secret bit at the end of it which has Robbie speaking in it but you?ll have to listen yourselves to find out what he says J. Overall this is an intersting album which has many different styles of Robbies singing abi
lity and we are given something well worth our money, this is an essential for any Robbie Williams fan. As personally I think this is one of his better albums, what do you think?
"Life Thru A Lens" isn't bad for Robbie's first solo album. The two albums that follow are much better but surely it's better that Robbie's improving, not worsening? "Life Thru A Lens" is the album with Robbie's classics on - "Let Me Entertain You" and "Angels". These two very contrasting songs are masterpieces. I don't believe that there is one person in England who has never heard "Angels". It's a beautiful piece with touching lyrics, a sing-a-long chorus and a fantastic instrumental interlude. Everyone knows it so I won't waffle on. "Let Me Entertain You" is the perfect party piece, great to sing along to and to jump around and dance to. The Robster was having fun with this one - watch the video. Full of energy, it really does entertain. Also, Rob put "Old Before I Die" on, this is an early piece which is very guitarry but it's brilliant. "Life Thru A Lens" and "Ego Ego Go" are...interesting, I don't think they're Robbie's best songs but they're likeable. "South Of The Border" is a little odd and personally this is one of the songs I'm not so keen on. "You're One Of God's Better People" is a very touching piece, it's a tear jerker. With the only instruments being an acoustic guitar and Robbie's voice, it is a simple ballad Rob wrote for his Mum. This song is just beautiful, that's all I can say. "Killing Me" and "Clean" are also two good songs. "Killing Me" is a depressing one with lots of minor piano chords but fantastic all the same. "Clean" is quite quirky and certainly an easy one to pick up and join in with. Rob does have a habit of putting hidden tracks at the end of his albums, which tend to start about 27 minutes after the last track. On this album, Rob recorded a little poem he wrote
which basically says 'so there' to a school-teacher who told him he'd amount to nothing. It's amusing and adds a bit of humour to the album. I think "Life Tnru A Lens" is very personal to Robbie. With "You're One Of God's People" referring to his Mum and also "Clean" - "I don't have to wean myself off of nothing" I think these are the songs Robbie wrote as he recovered from his bad patch. They convey his feelings about things. "Life Thru A Lens" is not a bad album at all, especially as it was Robbie's first solo album. It does have some real gems - "Angels", "Let Me Entertain You", "You're One Of God's Better People" and "Killing Me". It could have been better but the good outweighs the bad and it is worth hanging onto.
My opinion: I think that Life thru a lens could have been made better. There are too many songs that hardly anyone has heard of but i suppose that could be good because sometime's it gets boring hearing the top singles over and over. I think there are too many slow songs. The album needs more fast songs. There even could have been more than 11 tracks to the album. The two main songs on the album are angels and let me entertain you. I think this album could have been a bit better. The sound: The instrumental sound on the album is quite quiet but that made the singing a lot clearer. There are not too many sound affects and there are more slow songs than fast songs. The lyrics were chosen well to the fast and slow songs. The sound is clear and loud. Who's it for: The album is suited for all ages. I think that the CD could be used at a candle light dinner or a wild party. What it has : As I said, there is a range of fast songs and slow songs. There are 11 tracks all together. Here is the track list: 1=lazy days 2=life thru a lens 3=ego a go go 4=angels 5=south of the border 6=old before I die 7=one of god's better people 8=let me entertain you 9=killing me 10=clean 11=baby girl window Over all: Over all this is an ok CD, which could be an entertaining CD or could be useful l to you in some way. Thank you for taking the time to read my opinion, I hope this has been useful to you in some way. By sean-kenny.
I have written a pretty extensive opinion on the man behind the Robbie Williams we see on TV, but a lot of the time we seem to forget why he is famous. He is a pop star who sells copious amounts of records. “Life Thru A Lens” was his debut album release, and it is still one of my favourites, mostly because Robbie proved he was serious about his music, and stopped being a joke in the industry. The album shows a mixed up Robbie who is mellow one moment, then full of anger and spitting venom the next. It was a sign of what was going on in his head at the time. “Lazy Days” is the opening track, and it was also the song that made people sit up and take notice of Robbie as a solo artist. It is more upbeat than a standard ballad, but still mellow enough to relax to. The song is written about a girlfriend who stood by Robbie through good and bad (rumoured to be Jackie Hamilton Smyth), and helped him to see how much fun life could be. The title track is next. It is a fun song which goes at a fast pace, and has a dig at all the “It Girls” with some very witty lyrics. “You sound so funny, with your voice all plummy, now your cheque’s just bounced, better run to your mummy, and you know it’s a class act, she’ll never ask for it back”. I love this song, the energy behind the vocals is catching, and it makes you move. The next track is another attack..this time on his ex Take That colleague Gary Barlow. Gary always claimed he would be the next George Michael, and Robbie would fade into obscurity. How wrong he was! I can picture Robbie spitting out the words to this song as he sings lyrics like, “Ego a go go now you’ve gone solo, living on a memory, where’ve you been lately, and do you still hate me”. Those words are just so apt. Next is the track that turned everything on it’s head. “Angels” changed Robbie’s career, and acc
ompanied by the stylish black and white video, it was the start of a new path for Robbie. The song itself is about Robbie’s mum, and still brings a lump to my throat. Robbie was in the news for the right reasons, and within six months, he was the darling of the British music scene, and triumphant at The Brit Awards. “South Of Border” does well to hold it’s own against some of the other tracks on here. It is a funk rock track where Robbie gets to stretch his vocal chords. The tempo is quickly picked up again with “Old Before I Die”. The chorus is catchy, and again it made people take notice of the man from Stoke on Trent. My favourite track on the whole CD is “One Of God’s Better People”. It is a soulful ballad sung from the heart. The lyrics show how desperate Robbie is for love and attention, and how people close to him are special because they stay by his side regardless of what he does, and this is his personal tribute. The opening song of every Robbie concert I have been to is his trademark song, “Let Me Entertain You”. This is a pop rock song, with a catchy chorus, and various other hooks throughout the song. Again, the song was accompanied by a great video, where Robbie dresses as a KISS type rocker and dances Mick Jagger style. Just when you are leaping about singing, the mood changes swiftly with the next song “Killing Me”. This song troubles me sometimes, as I think Robbie opens up his heart and soul, and it is sad stuff. The next song is about Robbie’s addictions. “Clean” is a light hearted look at his battle with alcohol and drugs. He sings about days wasted in bed, and how each minute being clean is an achievement. It is an upbeat anthem, and probably exorcised a lot of his ghosts. The final track on the CD was written for his god daughter Isobel. “Baby Girl’s Window” is a beautiful haunting ballad. A grea
t finish to a great piece of work. Well done Rob, you did good!
Life Thru A Lens is Robbie Williams' debut solo album and it is much better than his second album, Millennium. It is filled with brilliant songs like Angels, Lazy Days, Let Me Entertain You, Old Before I Die and the title track Life Thru A Lens. The songs on this album are a lot faster than most of the stuff that he did with Take That, and songs like Angels are a lot more memorable. I believe this was one of the best pop albums released in the Nineties. If you like pop music then you should love this album and if you like Robbie Williams then you should buy this because it is far better than Millennium. This is what made Robbie Williams, not Take That.
This album was going to be called "The Show-off must go on", a title that was rejected as too throwaway - but for me it sums up the Robbie phenomenon pretty well. And the album itself, bar a couple of tracks, veers dangerously close to being throwaway, too, with not a whole lot to show off, in my view. The dull "Lazy days" starts it off, followed by the track "Life thru a lens", which is very scathing about IT girls, (he insists it's only partially about Tara Parker Tompkinson), then "Ego a go go", apparently directed at Gary Barlow, and quite defensive in tone. Both of these songs sound like reject Beatles tracks (from around the time of "Taxman"). Elsewhere there are glimpses of stolen bits from bands such as the Rolling Stones (Old Before I Die), Squeeze, and Elton John, among others. There's nothing that really grabs me on this album until "Angels", which I do like - I don't know whether Robbie had lessons from Sir Elton for this one, but it sounds like it. Good song, anyway. "Let me entertain you" is another song that we're all so familiar with, a catchy tune, you can't deny it. Incidentally this song, too, reminds me a lot of Elton John - from his heavier guitar band days (you know, "The Bitch is Back" and so on). So the best songs were chosen as the singles, and those 2 are about it for me - nothing else to make the album worth listening to. Unimaginative ballads like "One of God's better people" and "Baby girl window" don't help matters. Oh, there's an extra, uncredited track at the end, coming ten minutes after the last official track. It's not a song so much as a personal, heartfelt diatribe in verse, an "up yours" to an old school teacher. He's just winging it, really, makes no secret of it, in his charming way, and it may make good magazine fodder, but it do
esn't lead to good music I'm afraid, although this album probably turned out better than many cynics expected it would be. Get the greatest hits album (has it come out yet?) instead.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Lazy Days
2 Life Thru a Lens
3 Ego A Go Go
5 South of the Border
6 Old Before I Die
7 One of God's Better People
8 Let Me Entertain You
9 Killing Me
11 Baby Girl Window