He's winning, maybe, but as boy-band survivor and heir apparent to Elton John's throne, golden boy Robbie Williams reportedly fell apart under the glare of the spotlight. It's fitting, then, that "Sing When You're Winning," the follow-up to his stateside best-of "The Ego Has Landed," paints a more sinister character out of our famous international playboy, pressing Williams through the next stage of his own cult of personality and into an altogether stronger musical identity. Once again, Williams has enlisted silent partner Guy Chambers (his Bernie Taupin) to help craft another collection of breezy pop realizations -- only this time with a realized ego to back them up.
"Rock DJ," the first single, flirts with a "Putting on the Ritz" smart-spoken flair. But the CD is more characterized by the out-of-space-and-time balladry of "Better Man" and the rousingly strung (think "I Will Survive") centerpiece, "Supreme," where Williams cheeks, "Will you survive? You must survive." He will.
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