Friday, November 14, 2008

Take That: The Circus

Plonk! A four track album sampler has just landed in our inbox. It's attributed to a band called Hoxton Bar, but from the second Mark Owen lisps the first line, we're wise to the "clever" PR sleight of hand. It's only bloody Take That and their Circus album!

We have listened to it twice now, and it is very pleasant in a "would make a nice Christmas present for your mum" kind of way. Here is a more detailed breakdown:

1) The Garden
Take That's last album finished with a song about going out to sea in a Wooden Boat, and this album opens with the lyric "And the fisherman came back across the water". It's a continuing narrative, just like Quantum Of Solace! And, to further the parallel with James Bond, Take That are surrounded by "the sound of sirens" and "the scent of burning oil". Yikes!

At this point, you will be wondering "why are Take That banging on about the environment" but then the chorus kicks in with some old nonsense about "laying down in the garden" and ranks of stirring, staccato strings. By the end, you'll have forgotten all about global warming, and decided to have a berry burst smoothie with Howard Donald.

2) Greatest Day
You know this one already. It's basically Patience without the chorus.

3) Said It All
Someone has forgotten to change the settings on Gary Barlow's song-o-matic compositional machine, as this is yet another piano ballad with a soaring chorus and "meaningful" lyrics about the end of a relationship. The middle section steals the guitar riff from Coldplay's Yellow. Next!

4) Up All Night
This has an oompah brass band in it. Once you've got over the shock, it's quite a catchy little number in the vein of Shine - with a double-tracked Mark Owen singing about sexual frustration (?) while the rest of the band do their very best ELO harmonies.

The middle eight is brilliant: "I met this girl last night and she said 'why won't you marry me'? Well I'm too young for that, too dumb for that, too broke for that, too tired for that, too proud for that and I'm too gone for that.

"But would you like to come back to my flat?" Amazing.

Conclusion: Bring back Lulu!

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