Pop but without the cheese.
Julie Broadfoot 2006-11-27
Since Take That broke a million girls' hearts ten years ago, the fans have grown up, the 'Smash Hits' era has ended and the boy band has taken note. Anyone expecting instant nostalgia from Beautiful World will be disappointed - it proved its worth on their comeback tour, but the new album has a more mature sound. It's pop but without the cheese. There are no covers and nothing to demand a choreographed dance routine to wear out the knees of "four old men" (their words, not mine). Their voices are stronger and the lead vocals (and writing credits) are shared.
"Patience" is already a worthy number one single, and the strongest tune on the album. It has its share of ballads but Jason's raw, acoustic folk "Wooden Boat"' is a stand-out track whilst Mark's "Shine" - a brilliant, Beatlesesque, funky pop song - is reminiscent of his solo work. "Mancunian Way" hints at their years out of the spotlight 'I just forgot how it is to feel / to dance and move and keep it real / been lying down for ten long years'. The title track is uplifting and "Like I Never Loved You At All" is lovely. It takes a few listens for some of the tracks to sink in and there's no "Back For Good", but it's a heart-warming album that fans will love.