Robbie Williams The Ego Has Landed

Sure, it would be easy to tear this record by former member of “boy band” Take That Sure, to bits — over the top AOR-style production, ridiculous egocentric lyrics, an unnecessary and insulting cover song (World Party’s beautiful “She’s The One”), not to mention that this “kid” has been built up to godlike status in his native England. There’s just one problem — some of these songs are damn catchy. “Lazy Days” and “Let Me Entertain You” are just asking to be hated for their tween appeal, but it’s hard to escape their pop hooks. Because it was easier to package for our own kids (big and small), The Ego Has Landed is a collection of sorts, pulling material from his first two British releases, Life Thru a Lens, and I’ve Been Expecting You. With overtly pop bands like Hanson generating embarrassed praise from much of the alternative rock press, it makes sense that The Ego Has Landed has people pulling their hair out trying to decide if it’s OK to like this album or not. This was made easier in the UK, due to Williams’ flair for debauchery and hard-living antics with the likes of Oasis’ Liam Gallagher. Heed one warning, though — there are some real questionable moments on this release. Those who develop rashes when listening to Top 40 radio should exercise extreme caution. Then again, who cares? Summer’s almost here and we all could use a little harmless pop music. (EMI)