This is an Enhanced CD which contains regular audio tracks as well as multimedia computer files.
Personnel includes: Robbie Williams (vocals); Alana Duncan (spoken vocals); Neil Taylor (electric guitar); Guy Chambers (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer): Phil Palmer (12-string guitar); Steve Sidwell (piccolo trumpet); Dave Catlin-Birch (bass, background vocals); Winston Blissett, Brad Lang, Phil Spalding (bass); Chris Sharrock (drums); Andy Duncan (percussion); Andy Caine, Steve McEwan, Gary Nuttall, Claire Worrall (background vocals), Kylie Minogue.
The former Take That heartthrob's follow-up to THE EGO HAS LANDED is so slick and covers so many stylistic bases that one's initial response is that it's too clever by half. On more careful listening, however, it seems more the work of a true pop obsessive, a guy with an encyclopedic enthusiasm for all sorts of music.
The lyrics here are literate, funny, and loaded with attitude (in the good sense); you have to love a guy who can reference John Coltrane, AC/DC, and the Manic Street Preachers on the same album. The music is similarly smart, ranging from high quality dance pop of the boy band variety ("Kids," a duet with Britney Spears' role model Kylie Minogue), to the alt-rock Oasis-meets-Led Zeppelin guitar grind of "Let Love Be Your Energy," to songs that sound uncannily like IMAGINE-era John Lennon ("Better Man"). Best of all, however, is "Rock D.J.," a Cockney-rap track which sounds like modern day Ian Dury until it closes with a lift of the vocal breakdown from Sly Stone's "Dance To the Music." All in all, SING WHEN YOU'RE WINNING is an ambitious and highly entertaining piece of work.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (10/26/00, pp.112-4) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...An audio spectacle showcasing [both Williams' and collaborator Guy Chambers'] melodic wit and stylistic valor....the essence of power pop..."
Entertainment Weekly (10/20/00, p.77) - "...A winner..." - Rating: A-
Q (1/01, p.94) - Included in Q's "50 Best Albums of 2000".
Q (9/00, pp.94-5) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...The instant he opens his mouth, out pops the charisma....you can't help liking him. Amazing."
Alternative Press (12/00, p.121) - 4 out of 5 - "...As powerful as you want, as lovely as your dreams and as subtle as the best practical joke..."
Melody Maker (8/26/00, p.58) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...As excellent as anyhting else released this year....a jaded, Pet Shop Boys-esque look at fame....pleasing, if lightweight, pop..."
Mojo (Publisher) (9/00, p.107) - "...Undoubtedly his best record..."