Also doch. Robbie Williams ist ein ganz normaler Popstar. Mit „Intensive Care“ hat er seine erste echte musikalische Schaffenskrise. Und das ist gut so.
Viel wurde gemutmaßt über die Irrungen und Wirrungen im Vorfeld zur neuen Robbie Williams-Platte. Vor allem darüber, was denn sein neuer Songwriter-Partner so für einen Einfluss auf den Stil des Barden hat. Sein Name ist Stephen Duffy. Und Herr Williams hätte vielleicht gut daran getan, dessen Bewerbungsmappe mal konzentrierter zu studieren. Stephen Duffy wurde vom englischen Rolling Stone mal als „der größte Pechvogel der Popgeschichte“ beschrieben. Nicht ganz zu Unrecht: Duffy war Gründungsmitglied von Duran Duran – und verließ die Band kurz bevor sie zu einer der erfolgreichsten Pop-Bands der 80er Jahre wurden. Duffy hatte im Jahre 1982 Besuch von einer kleinen blonden Popgöre namens Madonna – und schickte sie nach Hause nachdem sie ihn bat, Songs für sie zu schreiben. Seitdem kooperierte Duffy mit Popstar-Größen wie Leonard Cohen und Nigel Kennedy (!). Nachdem sich Robbie mit Guy Chambers zerstritt und hörte, dass der dufte Duffy arbeitssuchend sei, lag also nichts näher, als den glücklosen Liedermacher zu engagieren.
Das Ergebnis ist „Intensive Care“. Ein Album das plätschert anstatt zu klatschen. Und dabei geht es eigentlich recht gut los: „Ghosts“ ist ein 80s angehauchtes Popoperretchen mit einem glockenklaren Robbie Williams und sogar so etwas wie einer Hook-Line. Nach dem bereits bekannten „Trippin“ (funktioniert sogar nach dem 6. Mal als Ohrwurm) und dem unaufgeregten und unaufregenden „Make Me Pure“ (erinnert noch am ehesten an Chambers) geht das gähnende Geplansche los: „Spread Your Wings“ und „Advertising Space“ langweilen konsequent und schonungslos. Auch „Sin Sin Sin“ verhöhnt den Musikfreund, und zwar derart, dass man sich bei der Abschlussnummer „King of Bloke And Bird“ schon so sehr an das musikalische Kaugummi gewöhnt hat, dass es einem fast schon wieder gefällt.
Hervorheben darf man allerdings die beiden Uptempo-Stücke „Your Gay Friend“ und A Place To Crash“. Da wird ganz ordentlich Druck ausgeübt, das kann live funktionieren, erinnert allerdings stark an die ersten Alben von Robbie Williams und bietet somit nicht wirklich Inoovation.
Insgesamt tut es gut, ein Robbie Williams-Album zu hören und als Pop-Durchschnitt zu bewerten. Die Hoffnung macht sich breit, dass die Konsumenten sich nicht anfreunden können mit dem Low-Level-Pop. Vielleicht eröffnet genau das neue Horizonte. Entweder Rob geht wirklich neue Wege, oder das Titelstück vom nächsten Album heißt „My Guy Friend“, Chambers kehrt zurück und die Hitmaschine läuft wieder.
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