The Heavy Entertainment Show (Deluxe)
“Welcome to The Heavy Entertainment Show, where Eminem meets Barry Manilow.” 25 years into his mission to gamely entertain us all, Robbie Williams opens his 11th album with a neat and typically self-aware summation of his appeal. THES is a fruity cocktail of rebellion and vulnerability. “Motherfucker”—an ode to his young son—is a joyous lost Britpop anthem, “David’s Song”—an ode to his manager David Enthoven, who died as the album was being recorded—is genuinely affecting, while the rambunctious collaborations with Rufus Wainwright and John Grant feel inspired. At 42, Wllliams' cocktail is more parts pathos and insecurity than it is ego and bawdy mischief—and that’s what makes him such a singular and uniquely British popstar.