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Tuesday, July 29, 2003
  Robbie: Jesus Doesn't Want Him For A Sunbeam

My god can you quite believe the car-wreck that is Robbie Williams' new single? The spirit-sapping lifelessness of the music is pretty breathtaking. The song sounds like it's trying to drag itself up out of bed. It's bright early morning and the coke has run out. America still hasn't been broken. Listen to those downtrodden horns: the sound of balloons deflating at the end of the party, of the fight being sucked out of Robbie. The drugs don't work: all he has is a hangover and an all-consuming loneliness. And the refrain: "when you're lost, hurt, tired and lonely, something beautiful will come your way." It's clear he doesn't believe himself. That chorus isn't a life-affirming statement of self-belief, it's a frightened, desperate grasp at reassurance. Hiding under the bedclothes, eyes too dry to even cry, he has to keep believing it. But the music makes it clear he has no way out: the sagging, plodding thump of the track is his reality - the attempted-soar of the chorus is just a dream. (cf Jon Savage on how great songs always subvert the message of their lyrics. This is a gruesome example of the artist's true state of mind slipping out unnoticed beneath the image he's trying to project. It's the most horrific experience to be had on daytime radio at the moment. 
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