dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In The End, Was Take That's 'The Circus' Really Any Good?

D'luv likes the idea of Take That. The world, at least European side of it, needs a band like them, it might be safe to assume. Something iconic and familiar to latch onto in uncertain times.

But The Circus was a bit wobbly, I feel. Or was it?

Admittedly, the holiday season was a bit hectic, no doubt for everyone. And my deluxe edition copy of The Circus arrived smack at the onset of it.

Granted, there was that first Saturday after the CD showed up in the mail, where I drove around running errands and listened to it three times. "The Garden," "Said It All" and "You" stood out immediately, warranting repeated plays. "Hold Up A Light" and "How Did It Come To This" were a bit more subtle, but proved to be growers.

I guess what I'm saying is that it wasn't an instantly catchy album. In fact, I haven't listened to it again as a whole much since that first Saturday three weeks back. Maybe it was just too much Mark Owen, and not enough Gary Barlow for my taste?

Anyway, Take That ended up with the second best-selling album of the year in the U.K., at 1.4 million copies sold, behind Duffy's Rockferry (nearly 1.7 million).

And, as mentioned before, The Circus just might get a 2009 U.S. release, according to Universal's U.K. chief.

I've got a long flight ahead of me this afternoon, with a layover in Memphis. It might be time to revisit The Circus. Who knows, maybe what I needed all along was to hear it at a high altitude?

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  • At 2:30 PM, Blogger John said…

    I kind of felt the same way about it. Underwhelmed, while much of the blogosphere was singing its praises. Maybe I'll give it another go as well. Safe travels.

  • At 2:55 PM, Blogger will said…

    Have a safe flight Robbie! I always say that if you have to ask yourself if something is good or not, that in itself should give you the answer if something is good or not. :')

  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger Paul said…

    in answer to the title of this post, yes. yes it was. :)

  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    I think it is worth revisiting, no doubt. But Marky seems capable of only one kind of song and that is of the plonkety plonk Scissters variety - you know what I mean. The album would have benefited from one or two surprises in arrangement, like something sleek and synthy and a piano ballad.

  • At 6:14 PM, Blogger Thnairg said…

    Knowing how unbelievably tough an act to follow "Beautiful World" was, I braced myself for disappointment, so my low expectations ended up leaving me somewhat satisfied with "The Circus". Granted, like you I haven't listened to it again since the day I received it, but it's sure to happen.

    Really, though, Take That know better than to release out-and-out rubbish, so in the grand scheme of things, yes, it is "any good". ;-)

  • At 8:40 PM, Blogger Mike said…

    It's a sloppy beer bog of an album that really just needs to be flushed down the shitter.

  • At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Funny - actually Mark Owen has only one song more as on BW (three on BW, four on TC). Exactly his songs have more new on orchestration (take Hallo and Up all night and listen carefully). The Barlow songs have the same orchestration as in BW, nothing new - exactly what you would expect from a Barlow song. May be that Owen's songs need more listen to like them as they twitch like you will not expect, so it takes time to get accustomed to the sound. At the beginning I didn't liked Hold up a light - now I consider it as one of the best on the album.

    My favs on the album are Up all night, Hold up a light and the brilliant Here ;).

  • At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think certain songs grow on you but I really think it is a great album. Worth a few more listens . I love the blend of all their voices on each song .

  • At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Love this album.

  • At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Kay said…

    I wasn't into it at first; it takes quite a few listens for the songs to catch on. But if anything, the tour seals how meticulously planned the whole thing was. It's a soundtrack to a festival! I wouldn't be surprised if they wrote Hold Up A Light just so they can do a 'cast call' and indeed, hold a spotlight to the cast, in the way that Greatest Day and Hello were written to open an event.

    It may not be the most commercial album, but certainly their most artistic.


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