The Bottom Line
"Rudebox 74" is likely to follow Robbie Williams usual pattern and make the UK pop top 10, but that doesn't mean we all have to love it. "Rudebox 74" is likely to be ignored in the US, and this time around that might be the most appropriate response. Robbie may be getting back to his roots and having fun, but we will all be better served when he gets back to work.
Head over to the Rudebox 74 mini-site to hear 3 mixes of the single.
- It is catchy
- It all just sounds so lazy
- Early 80's-inspired electro dance beats
- Robbie raps...then breaks into a sweetly sung pop chorus
- It's all supposed to sound rather rude...I think
Guide Review - Rudebox 74 - Robbie Williams
"Rudebox 74's" primary asset is abundantly clear after listening once. It is catchy, and your brain stem is likely to be involuntarily humming the tune for hours after listening. However, there are many problems here when it comes to recommending the song as a truly satisfying listening experience.
If the intent is to be a rude, edgy track, that candy-coated chorus immediately sinks the effort. The repeated "Why you so nasty?" sounds like it drifts in from a different studio recording a different song. Robbie Williams reveals once again that, at heart, he is in love with simple pop melodies, and that is not at all a bad thing. Without that tendency, "Angels" would not exist.
However, if the intent is to give us another pure pop classic, "Rudebox 74" is sorely lacking here as well. We've heard the Robbie-style rapping before ("Rock D.J."), the 80's style beats are retro in a boring, not energizing, way, and the "lyrics," such as they are, sound like Robbie Williams on autopilot.
So...if you're in the UK, you're already hearing this on the radio, but I doubt it will last much after the early September release date. If you're in the US, don't worry about missing it, and look forward to the full-length album 1974 with contributions from the likes of the Pet Shop Boys and William Orbit. Robbie on the dance floor may yet bear high quality fruit.