Give This...

I can't let today go by without writing about a musical release.  I'm not known for going on about my musical tastes, probably because they are so wide and varied.  I've been known to find the tuneful delight in a ruler being twanged on the edge of a desk.  I've also been known to serve detention for enjoying such (and I quote) "Such a bleedin' racket!" but that's a whole other story from a galaxy far far away.

I'm sure those of you that have read any of my tweets around this time of year will also know that I'm practically forced at gunpoint to watch the x-factor because I live in a house with two women. Before I go any further, I have to set the record straight on that point.  They don't force me to watch it.  I could walk away. But it brings out the worst rubber-necking gene in many of us, myself included.  It's such a terrible car crash, that as you drive by from BBC2 to Channel 4 you really shouldn't look at it.  But the fascination has a pull over you that can't be denied.  I hate it for that very reason, that even my immense will power can't seem to stop it happening. Such is the way of things.

Over the last 15 years or so - or there abouts, I've been a Robbie Williams fan. There, I said it. Truth be told, I still am. Pretty sure I've got every album he's made - there are good ones and bad ones. I've consistently listened to the noise he's made which are completely packed to the brim with irony and I have no doubt, that that fact alone, plays a large part in my enjoyment of his catalog of work.

Anyone who's lived in the UK in that period of time will of heard of him, and of course of his erstwhile nemesis, Gary Barlow.  The two of them were in a boy band together back in the 90's. Gary wrote the songs, Robbie danced about at the back and acted like a bit of a twit. The problem was, Robbie had talent which Gary wasn't letting out. There were words, and a bust up. Around 1996, Robbie went solo and the boy band broke up. Mr Williams went on to become a household name around the world, while Mr Barlow's star faded. But not for too long.

In 2006 the boy band reformed without Robbie and this time they found great success. Robbie was starting his fade and the boot appears to have shifted foot. And so began a levelling of sorts. The two of them evened out somewhat....

Finaly, the two kids (for that is all they were when they started this journey) have grown up. They've met, talked, chatted, confessed and forgiven and we've arrived at an interesting point in their joint history to date.  Robbie has split with himself, citing musical similarities and has trotted off to join a boy band. Only now - they're not boys... now they're mates.

Robbie and Gary have given us this (albeit in Robbie's name) presumably as his final hurrah before he split himself up. The opening lyric is all telling: "Now there's three versions of this story, yours and mine and then the truth."  It all comes across a bit brokeback mountain, but there's those lumps of irony again. Not allowed to embed the video, so if you want to watch it, you'll have to go here: YouTube

I'm sure by now, you've figured out where I"m going. The clue is in the title after all, and if you even had a passing glance at the Simon Cowell show last night, then it's obvious.

The flip side to Robbie's offering is Take That.  I can't say I was a fan, but since they refomed in 2006 there's no denying they've had some cracking tunes. And now they've got Rob on board, clearly they're persuading me... to the point that I've bought the new album (released today) and I can honestly say; I am loving it. Poptastic.

Without further ado - here's a link to the first single ( and here's the video (sorry about the advert)

And here's a link to the Album (

Of course, I can't just leave it there... oh no. The cynic in me has a few words to say on the subject. Robbie's carreer has been on the wane, what he needs is something popular to get him back on track... Do you think his management went... hmmm....  how about reforming Take That?....

Well, do you know what?  I couldn't care less and in my heart of hearts I sort of doubt that's case anyway. They're making good songs which in turn are making good money. With the X-Factor wanting to launch yet another boy band at us, the timing is just perfect, at least from my perspective. I don't want to see Mr Cowell force any more of his road kill on us.

So if you're stuck for a present at Christmas for your loved one, you could do far far worse than Give This.... or Take That.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous