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Beautiful World

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Album Review

When Take That disbanded in 1996, they left many young girls in floods of tears. They had arguably been the most popular band in Britain during the early '90s, and many of their fans had never known what it was like to have their favorite band split and move on. Two surprises then occurred, first when Gary Barlow, the main singer and songwriter for the band, failed to set the charts alight with his solo projects. Despite hitting number one with two singles ("Forever Love" and "Love Won't Wait") and the accompanying album Open Road, Barlow's solo career was seen as a disappointment and he quickly faded from the affections of young girls who either grew up or turned their attention to Boyzone or Westlife. The second surprise occurred when the cheekiest former member of the band, Robbie Williams, whom many had seen as precipitating the breakup in the first place, went on to become one of the biggest solo stars of the late '90s and early 2000s with eight number one albums. In fact, he was so big that when the other four invited him to rejoin them for a reunion world tour, he said no, intending to remain solo and promote his recently released album, Rudebox.

So Take That re-formed, went on the road without Williams, and recorded a new album without him, too. Doomed to failure? Not a bit, for the album Beautiful World was filled with great new contemporary songs, virtually all written by the bandmembers, who had grown up and matured in the intervening years. There was a sense of professionalism surrounding the whole project (produced by John Shanks) and imbuing every song, whether a ballad like "I'd Wait for Life" or "What You Believe In" (on which Mark Owen took vocal lead), or an uptempo track like "Reach Out" or "Shine," the latter of which was a masterpiece of 21st century pop. The bandmembers shared responsibilities for singing on the album, and they were obviously enjoying every minute of the comeback, although Barlow was still very much in charge, taking lead vocal duties on six of the tracks. The lead single was "Patience," a classic pop song and midtempo ballad with a killer hook down the scales for a chorus, and the second single, "Shine," was completely different, sort of a cross between Queen at their most camp and the Scissor Sisters. The final track, "Wooden Boat," was another totally different song, sung by Jason Orange to an acoustic background, and one minute after it had finished, another Gary Barlow power ballad, "Butterfly," faded in as a bonus track on some editions of the album. Robbie Williams was slated for his solo offering Rudebox, but his former bandmates celebrated one of the greatest comebacks of all time, hitting number one throughout December and even returning to the top in the spring of 2007 when the second single, "Shine," kicked in and hit the Top Five for several more weeks, over a year after the album had been released. So is there hope for any band attempting a comeback after ten years? If the band's album is this good, you bet there is.

Customer Reviews

That'll do!

As a non fan I was very curious, and with the dawn of the digital era I was able to purchase this unnoticed! None of that, "its for me sister" malarkey-as you avoid eye contact with the rather butch sales assistant! Gary Barlow's voice remains as unmistakeable as ever, but it is the others who really make it worth a listen- no longer are they just The Pips to his Gladys Knight. I have to say I was pleasently suprised and enjoyed the album.With Patience still being the outstanding track- Mancunian Way isnt bad and i did enjoy Wooden boat. Have a go if your curious-you might just like it!

Moving onwards and upwards - gracefully.

With a bit of humility - Robbie could now learn something from his old mates - their new record sits beautifully next to The Feeling's 2006 album - echoes of A-ha's Analogue and even Keane's record. Some absolutely outstanding harmonies on Beautiful World, and I've found myself breaking out in goosebumps on first listen - they've had ten years to write it - but i'm glad they decided to come back - if only to give these songs the stage and attention they deserve - Gary has come of age again with his songwriting - for me previous take that albums only hinted at how good this is and after all the criticisms - it's got to be said that he's writing the kind of songs George Michael just can't do anymore.

Take That Are Back!!!!

What an absolutely cracking album, well worth the ten year wait!! Lots of sing-a-long tunes that will no doubt become just as popular as their classic hits. A must for any Take That fan, but definitely an album that will appeal to many. Welcome back boys!

Biography

Formed: 1990

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

As the most popular teen pop sensation in Britain since the '60s, Take That ruled the U.K. charts during the first half of the '90s. In strict commercial terms, the band sold more records than any English act since the Beatles, though the cultural and musical importance was significantly less substantial. Conceived as a British answer to New Kids on the Block, Take That initially worked the same territory as their American counterparts, singing watered-down new jack R&B, urban soul, and mainstream...
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