Monday, January 11, 2010

Edgy One Day, Schmalzy The Next...

SOTW’s Rule of Radio Pop is as follows: I like it for stylistic variety, but you don’t need me to supply what you already hear – and by ‘you’ I mean my US audience.

My foreign audience is well aware that I regularly rob the European pop charts with the likes of Mika, Estelle, and Scissor Sisters.

Today’s artist, 36-year old British singer Robbie Williams, is a household word in the UK and Europe as a red hot, misbehaving boy-band refugee whose up-tempo numbers are adventurous, contrasting sharply with the schmaltz of his balladry.

It’s the former that provides our weekly song, ‘Bodies,’ with unusual structure, memorable melody, and outrageous anthemic chorus that cries ‘all we’ve ever wanted / is to look good naked / hope that someone can take it…. God save me rejection / from my reflection / I want perfection…’

Williams spent half a decade as 1/5 of Take That!, a UK boy band wildly popular in Europe, and unheard of here, but which nonetheless inspired the US imitations which you’ve heard to saturation (Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync)…

Let's walk through the edgier, colorful side of Williams' top ten oeuvre (28 UK hit singles including six #1s!), as captured on video, starting with 'Bodies':

From 2000, the wild club thomper 'Rock DJ' in which he tears off his muscular system and tosses it to the masses...

From 1998, the lilting 'Millenium,' built on the violin riff from 'You Only Live Twice,' the late-60s James Bond theme originally composed by John Williams and sung by Nancy Sinatra.

Finally, 'Radio' from 2004, of which the video features masked cheerleaders, lizard eyes, and a snake emerging from Williams' trousers...

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