Thursday, 4 December 2008

Take That - The Circus

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Update Nov 2010:
The review of the latest album, Progress, is here.

A temporary departure from the usual theme because of a big event that happened this week.. the release of Take That's new album, The Circus! My favourite group at the moment. I have been listening to their songs for almost 2 decades, and even when they temporarily disbanded, I was still listening to their albums and Gary's solo efforts. Here is my review of the tracks.

The tracks:

1. The Garden

Starts with Mark whispering the vocals, and later, the others join in and the song eventually builds up to a crescendo, and has the same feel and sentiment of "Never Forget". I can see this being a later single.

2. Greatest Day

IMO, it was not the greatest preview for this album. There are far greater songs in this album, but maybe I need to listen to it a few more times for it to grow on me. I can see here that they have attempted to write an "anthem" like Queen's "We are the champions". If this song becomes really successful, it will be played at the end of sports events in years to come.

3. Hello

This also stars Mark. Reminds me of an uptempo catchy Herman Hermits song with an updated instrumental backing.

4. Said it All

Has Gary's trademark falsetto in the infectious chorus line. A midtempo track with a lot of jangly guitars and has a mid 90s Britpop feel to it.

5. Julie

Mark's solo. Simple and repetitive lyrics, which includes "sha la la la la I want you", underlaid by a slightly depressing tune. Probably not going to be a released as a single.

6. The Circus

Typical Gary Barlow easy listening composition in which he sings over a shallow piano with strings in the background coming in halfway. Simple yet pleasantly effective and easy to the ears.

7. How did it all come to this

Sounds like Howard and Jason took the lead on this. It is simply Reach Out (the opening track from Beautiful World which I absolutely loved) Mk2!

8. Up All Night

Started like Cecilia (Simon and Garfunkel), then launches into a lively chorus not dissimilar to Shine. This WILL be a massive single! Its Mark on lead vocals again!

9. What is love

Jason takes the reins here. Sang over a predominantly acoustic guitar backed track. The tune is simple but the chorus has an emotionally haunting feel to it, musically and lyrically. In the bridge, you actually believe that the singer is really pleading with all his heart for his love.

10. You

This is the closest to Patience you will get, in this album. However, it just does not have the same
catchiness nor adventure, despite having nearly the same song structure and tempo. The producers probably recognise this too, hence the reason why this has been relegated to near the end of the album.

11. Hold Up A Light

Mark on lead again! This has a driving chorus that will have you humming for hours afterwards. It is
irritatingly catchy and repetitive!

12. Bonus track

A 90 second epilogue. Has a caribbean party feel to it. Great way to end the album.. on a high note.

Overall impression:

The songs are definitely stronger than in the last album, in terms of their accessibility and instant likeability. However, it is not a big departure from the last album in terms of musical style, which, to me, is a good thing, as I liked Beautiful world a lot. This is nothing like the old 1990s Take That but fans of the old TT will still be able to enjoy The Circus because the strong melodies are all still there, although the musical style has moved on somewhat. Mark appears to be the leading singer in this album, which is fine for a studio recording, but I would have preferred to hear more of Gary, as he is by far the best and most experienced singer in the group. Mark's limitations will be really evident when they perform these songs live.

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Precious Pea said...

OMG!!!!! I love them very very very much, I used to be SO crazy over them especially Mark Owen. Sigh, it would take ages for the album to get here though. Sniff sniff sniff..

Precious Pea said...

Hazza...terima kasih!

ling239 said...

me too looking forward to tat !! ^_^

babe_kl said...

arrghhh terlambat :(

Precious Pea said...

Babe, kalau u mau, saya boleh bakar untuk you.

Selba said...

Oh no.. the link is already expired!

Precious Pea... saya mau, boleh? :D

Hazza said...

sesiapa mahu ini, sila email saya. boleh bagi link yang baru. hadiah untuk hari natal!

wmw said...

Hahah...came in late! Happy New Year! How's the new year coming along for you?

wenphei~!! said...

I've LOVED Take That since I was in Primary 5! I am absolutely exhilarated that the boys are making a resounding comeback!!!

Have some difficulties finding the downloads though. May have to head down to HMV after my exams to lay my hands on the album!!


Passerby bloghopper Malaysian based in Singapore

teckiee said...

Happy Chinese New Year!