Following on from the release of his swing music album Swings Both Ways in 2013 and signing a new deal with Sony Music earlier this year, Robbie Williams is set to return with his eleventh album Heavy Entertainment Show very soon. The latest single, Party Like a Russian, showcases his return to pop music, though not in an entirely convincing way.
Party Like a Russian starts suddenly, and never really changes its pace. Its plodding beat and one note piano line set up a consistent track, with its Russian-style strings and choir vocals tying into the title. It’s an oddball little pop song, with a foreign vibe and mid-tempo style that suits the chosen elements of the track well, but doesn’t do much to help it stand out. Its lyrics, however, are the defining feature; as a takedown aimed at Vladimir Putin, it features a tongue in cheek edge that allows the entire package to come together and make sense.
There are some interesting ideas behind Party Like a Russian, but it’s largely a single that’s a little too oddball for its own good. It’s memorable as a lead single, and not necessarily in a bad way; it’s an of the moment jab at a controversial political figure that succeeds as a denouncement of his character, but doesn’t do much to hype the album it comes from.