Home Read Classic Album Review: Robbie Williams | Swing When You’re Winning

Classic Album Review: Robbie Williams | Swing When You’re Winning

The smirking popster tries to channel his innner Rat Packer — and fails miserably.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Enough is enough.

We all tolerated Robbie Williams when he was a teen-popster because we knew it wouldn’t last. We grudgingly put up with his annoyingly cheeky, pop bad-boy ironicism because he wasn’t hurting anybody. But now he’s gone too far. For his new CD Swing When You’re Winning, the followup to last year’s Sing When You’re Winning — ain’t he just a stitch? — the ever-smirking Robbie has decided he wants to be a Rat Pack balladeer. So like the undertalented, overpaid, ego-pumped, self-deluded star-boy he is, he achieves his goal by buying it: He hires a cast of authentic big-band vets to back him while he shamelessly butchers classics like Mack The Knife, Straighten Up And Fly Right, Me And My Shadow, One For My Baby, Mr. Bojangles and Ain’t That A Kick In The Head. And it gets worse: On several tracks, he duets with other, um, vocalists? such as Nicole Kidman, Rupert Everett and — I swear I’m not kidding — Jon Lovitz. Worst of all: He sings along with Frank Sinatra on It Was a Very Good Year. If Frank were still alive, Robbie would be lucky to get away with just a kick in the head for this kind of reprehensible, disrespectful crap. Ring-a-ding-ding, pally. Now take a hike.