Robbie Williams - 'You Know Me'
Finding the right choice for your second hit single is a tough nut to crack. Often, after reasonable chart success from their first release, many artists unleash their second into the public domain claiming... 'This really is my type of music. If you like this, you'll love the album'. These so called 'artists' usually disappear from the chart radar within weeks, destined to play the rest of their lives in pub basements, with 30 fans paying 3 quid entry to hear their one-hit, and wonder what happened. It's a pet peeve of mine: Pretentious 'artists' using one commercially successful song to pave the way for utter musical slobber. Wait for it Robbie fans, the verdict's coming...
Yes. Of course Robbie 'megastar' Williams is in a different league. Sure, he's been experimental at times (that tracksuit in 'Rudebox'), and been guilty of 'making his type of music', ignoring his fans. BUT as second-single-into-a-big-comeback releases go, this is actually as perfect a choice as he could have made.
(Here's the video. Watch out for the Doo-Wop frogs.)
Classic Robbie is back at exactly the time his followers would want him to be. At some point during his break he must have had an epiphany... 'If I make music similar to my old popular stuff, my fans will probably buy it'... and it only took him 2 years to figure it out!
The track doesn't break new grounds. The melody is simple and the structure predictable, even down to the final chorus when the backing stops, giving the audience the chance to clap along, but it's got that love-rules-all, feel good factor which makes all the women fall for him, and a decent percentage of the men too. He puts on his crooner voice, mixes it with some lovey-dovey lyrics, adds a string orchestra, a friendly 50's doo-wop backing and Bob's your uncle; he's got himself a winner*.
It's also one of those tracks that give him ample opportunities to make that weird nodding grimace grin thing he puts on while on stage. You know: the one where he looks like he's about to cry... like he's saying 'This is life's perfect moment and I'm sharing it with you.' The crowd love a bit of that cheese.
Nice work Rob, now please don't fail me with the third release.
*Note: He doesn't actually become your uncle, it's just an expression.