In 2019, Take That took a break following the conclusion of their successful ‘Greatest Hits’ tour, promising to return for a new chapter of Take That. This moment has finally arrived. After the first new single ‘Windows’ was released in September, a new album was of course inevitable. The new album “This Life” is Take That’s ninth studio album and the first in six years with new music from Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald.
With the start of the new Take That chapter it quickly becomes clear that Take That’s new sound sounds much more mature than the previous work of the British boy band. The single “Windows”, released in September, is a good example of this. ‘Gary brought the song “Windows” and we thought it was a really good style to go with,’ said Howard Donald. With the strong song “Windows” as a basis, Gary, Mark and Howard started writing songs for the new album and worked with producer Dave Cobb in Nashville. The Nashville-like sound is clearly audible on the album, partly because all songs are played with actual musical instruments. Where previously a lot of music was produced via computers, this is not the case on the album “This Life”.
It’s great to see how Take That manages to reinvent itself with every new album and dares to take on new styles. The sound on “This Life” is very diverse and the album grows the more you listen to it. A nice highlight on the album is “Days I Hate Myself”, a catchy song with a strong bass part, which contrasts with “The Champion” sung by Mark Owen, which is secretly a bit reminiscent of “Walk On The Wild Side” by Lou Reed. What makes “The Champion” extra beautiful is the ending where Gary, Mark and Howard end in a fun way a cappella.
Due to the recently released singles “Brand New Sun” and “This Life”, this album has very strong songs, but the Howard Donald “March Of The Hopeful” is also worth listening to. The final track on the album “Where Are We”, however, is the true gem of this album “This Life”.
With “This Life” Take That manages to impress by showing a nice mature sound that actually suits the gentlemen perfectly. Take That is getting older and so is their sound. Diehard Take That fans will enjoy this new album and they prove that they are much more than just a boy band. (8/10) (EMI)
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