fri 14/06/2024

CD: Take That - Progressed | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Take That - Progressed

CD: Take That - Progressed

Impressive expansion of last year's Number One album

From 'Progress' to 'Progressed': Take That have made the transition from ape to homo sapiens in record time

Following in the stilettoed footsteps of Lady Gaga’s extended-play reissue of her platinum-selling The Fame, Take That’s Progressed is a two-disc repackaging of the November 2010 Progress album featuring eight additional tracks. With its menacing disco beats and penetrating falsetto vocals, it is an evolution to be proud of.

Released to coincide with the band’s first tour with Robbie Williams since 1995, the eight new songs are a happy extended narrative of Progress which acknowledges the well-publicised falling outs, carefully mixed in with a hefty dollop of science fiction. Not a combination you might stomach on paper, but it works surprisingly well.

The electronic pop sound perfected for Progress is delightfully in evidence again thanks to producer Stuart Price. The only exception being the first track, “When We Were Young”, the nostalgic melody of which, despite having Robbie on lead vocals, strongly harks back to the two albums the others did without him. The synthesised pounding of “Love Love”, the official X-Men: First Class single, sung by Gary Barlow and Mark Owen, is infectiously catchy. Judging by the thumping enthusiasm I saw for it at the live show the other day, the jumping might well be the reason Take That’s showstopping prop, Om, a 60ft robotic man, reportedly broke down during a rendition of it on the Manchester leg of the tour last week.

House influences that are reminiscent of the Pet Shop Boys – currently their support act on tour - feature prominently. Enjoyably cheesy is “Don’t Say Goodbye”, with Barlow’s romantic warbling one for the knicker-throwing females. The new tracks might not have the right-between-the-eyes precision of “The Flood” or “Kidz”, but they are certainly not a selection of dodgy B-sides. Take That have made the transition from ape to homo sapiens in record time. It will be interesting to see where evolution takes them next.

Listen to 'Don't Say Goodbye'

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