Take That - the original line-up! - have written and recorded a new album called PROGRESS set for
release on November 22. It is the first time Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen
and Robbie Williams have recorded a full album together since the release of their number one album
'Nobody Else', back in 1995.
The reunion of reunions took place in New York last September, following Take That's record-breaking
'The Circus Live' tour. Shortly afterwards all five of the original Take That secretly wrote and recorded
the six songs which would set the foundation for the forthcoming album which has been produced by
And here are some amazing stats: Take That and Robbie Williams have between them sold over 80
million albums, played to over 14.5 million people live, won 19 BRIT Awards, had 13 number one
albums, 17 number one singles, eight MTV awards and five Ivor Novello awards; and the list goes on?
The success they have achieved independently and as a group is extraordinary and undeniable.
Their new album comes 20 years since the band first sang live as a group on the TV show The Hitman
& Her in 1990. The reunion album is yet another incredible chapter in the Take That story which will no
doubt yield even more love, excitement and success over the months ahead.
1. The Flood
5. Pretty Things
6. Happy Now
7. Underground Machine
8. What Do You Want From Me?
10. Eight Letters
What Do You Want From Me
This is the true Take That comeback, the one where Robbie Williams returns to the fold for the first time since 1995. When he split at the height of Brit-pop, conventional wisdom suggested that Gary Barlow would wind up as the runaway solo star from the British boy band, but things didn't turn out that way. Robbie wound up as a superstar, the rest of the band reuniting without him in 2006, then admirably settling into an unthreatening adult contemporary groove on 2008's Circus. Robbie's return throws all that complacency out the window, with the band opting to follow the cool club and cocktail inflections of his recent work. It's the right move, of course -- Take That was stuck in the middle of the road, and no matter how pleasant that path was, it was bound to provide diminishing returns commercially -- but the surprise is how effective the Williams-ization of Take That is on Progress. The rest of the band gamely follows his lead, meshing vocally as they used to, but the emphasis is not on harmonies, it's on groove and texture, ballads taking a backseat to clever rips on Gorillaz or synthesized glam stomps. Things start to slow down toward the end of Progress, when Mark Owen, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, and Barlow get their own track to write -- each revert to type, Barlow stultifyingly so on the sticky "Eight Letters" -- but for seven tracks, Progress is the hippest and best music Take That has ever made. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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