You will never, ever get me to say a bad thing against Take That.
Part of it how much I love Robbie and Gary. Yes, both of them. Part of it the love I have for “Back For Good”, their best known song on this side of the pond. I’m the girl who ran out and bought Robbie’s American mashup album The Ego Has Landed, which took the best songs of his first two U.K. records and sold them to girls like me, who disdain manufactured boy bands as a rule. Except when they have Donnie Wahlberg or Robbie Williams. Then it’s “OHMIGOD I LOVE THEM SO MUCH MARRY ME ROBBIE SHRIEK”. This phenomenon I call Teenage Girl Decibel Shatter. It now happens in my house when One Direction appears anywhere. My nearly fifteen year old is shrieking “OHMIGOD I LOVE THEM SO MUCH MARRY ME LOUIS SHRIEK *COLLAPSE ON FLOOR IN A OVERDRAMATIC WAY HAVE MOTHER ROLL EYES AND SAY AMATEUR*”.
Take That went away. Boy bands always do. Robbie had massive success Europe way while maintaining a small but devoted North American fan base. Gary attempted a solo career and honed his skills as a songwriter. Howard, Jason and Mark- well, I’m sure they kept busy. Mark was on Never Mind the Buzzcocks once and was quite charming and funny in a former boy band member sort of way.
Then one day- they came back. Just four of them. Robbie had some stuff to sort out, and his relationship with Gary has always been volatile. But Gary, the de facto lead singer/ front man, along with Howard, Jason, and Mark all came back. They did a TV special, some concert dates, then released an album. Over the years Gary matured as a songwriter, and wrote one of the greatest songs about struggling through love and pain ever written.
Yes, I went there.
“Patience” strike a chord with me because I get it. Damaged souls throw up obstacles to prevent ever feeling that kind of pain ever again. It doesn’t matter how it ended, it still hurts, particularly if you have a strong romantic, sentimental streak that is your enemy. I’ve buried mine so deep and buried it under so much cynical sarcasm that I’m pretty sure I will remain single for all eternity. “Patience” speaks to the part of my heart that maintains hope. Irritatingly it tends to speak up every once in a while. My friends know the details.
The chorus, frankly, says it all:
I just need time, my heart is numb, has no feeling, so while I’m still healing, just try and have a little patience.
Surround that with swelling orchestrations and soaring four part harmonies, and frankly, I lay in my bed and weep.
Robbie, though, came back as well, and sang lead on “The Flood”. Can I just say that I love this song with no irony? I love Take That the same way, but that’s not the point. It’s typical midtempo man band vocal pop. I’m a hipster. I view all this through haughty, pretentious eyes. Except I don’t. I love a fantastic pop song. And this song makes me giddy with joy. Since joy is a completely foreign emotional state to me, I cannot help but be completely enamoured and devoted to a song that makes me feel not like the world’s most pathetic excuse of a human being.
I’m not kidding.
There are three things in this world I love unequivocally and without prejudice. I mean that. They are my children, my friends, and music. My children are my reason for existence, my friends are my sanity from my children, and music makes the existence easier for me to cope through on a day-to-day basis. Everything else is on notice. This particular song has a message of being alone in the world, staring down the hardships and hell life brings to you and surviving to spite them.
And once again- Robbie Williams.
Seriously, go buy The Ego Has Landed. That is one magnificent pop album and it is worth it.
Then buy Progress and Beautiful World by Take That. They really have gotten better. In fact, I will say Take That is the only boy band that grew up and became great.