The Ego Has Landed

Robbie Williams

Capitol Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


When it came time for me to review The Ego Has Landed, the first solo effort from former Take That singer Robbie Williams, I found myself asking, "What was I thinking for taking this disc on?"

It's understandable; I absolutely hated Take That. Every time I heard the song "Back For Good", my hand made a dash to the radio faster than the Cubs could spiral down in the National League. (Hey, I love 'em, but I gotta speak the truth.) Then, a funny thing happened: I heard the track "Millenium"... and liked it.

In reality, The Ego Has Landed is a very solid effort from Williams, who shows he's more than one-sided in his musical approach. But it sometimes shows that the title is pretty accurate.

Right now, three songs are very well known off this disc. "Millenium" is a track that challenges you to forget everything that Williams has done in the past, and forces you to take him on in today's musical environment. The thing is, it works, and it works well. The song is catchy enough and well written, though I'd question if this track would have any staying power once we cross over to the third millenium.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

If you watch television in America at all, you know by now that NBC is using one of the tracks, "Let Me Entertain You," as promo music for their new fall season. The first exposure I had to it was courtesy of one bizarre video on MTV; that one viewing alone almost soured me on this track. Fortunately, once you separate it from all the other fluff, it turns out to be a pretty good track, though it might disappoint some people expecting another song like "Millenium".

For them, there's always the beautiful (if not slightly understated musically) "She's Th One". On this track, Williams transcends any of the prejudices one might have going into this album, and makes his case solidly. If there is one track that hasn't gotten its justice (yet) from The Ego Has Landed, this is my selection.

There's more to The Ego Has Landed than the three singles, of course. There'd have to be, or this album would be as interesting as a bowl of goldfish. Songs like "Strong," "Jesus In A Camper Van," "Old Before I Die" and "Killing Me" all show that Williams was a flower waiting to bloom on his own. Now that he's free from Take That, he's turned into a virtual garden with this one album.

This isn't to say that everything on The Ego Has Landed is perfect. Things tend to get a little stale by the time you hit "Karma Killer" and "One Of God's Better People", and things begin to sound a little more pompous, living up to the album title. If this weren't enough, the "hidden" track some 10 minutes after the last song, solidifies this. I don't know if Williams wrote it, but the author publicly makes his statement to someone who didn't believe they'd make it. (Alright, I've been nice long enough: death to the next person who pulls this "ten minutes of silence" shit before the hidden track. You've been warned.)

The Ego Has Landed is still a very enjoyable disc that proves Williams was born to be a solo artist. If you can get through a little of the "dig me" attitudes that come in near the end, you'll discover the same thing.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol Records, and is used for informational purposes only.