Robbie Williams has a voice so versatile, especially for a mainstream artist; throughout his career we have witnessed him transition from traditional pop music to rock and more without so much as a batter of his eyelid. The release of his current album Swings Both Ways marks his second swing release since 2001’s Swing When You’re Winning; which is not necessarily a bad thing, Williams’ voice is capable of anything it seems. The album’s third single Shine My Shoes is one of the original tracks written for the LP, a powerful contribution.
Shine My Shoes is riddled with ego; lyrically, instrumentally and vocally the track puts Williams in a powerful position. Loud trumpets, keyboards, guitar and drums really drive the typical vibe of swing music; however Shine My Shoes could easily pass off as a swing/rock collaboration. The song is about how the protagonist is a high achiever and puts their nemesis in their place with the under achievers, we hear Williams belt “Come up and see me/I kind of like the abuse/There’s no room in my bed but while you’re here just bow your head and you can shine my shoes” in the first chorus; which demonstrates how he puts himself in a higher place compared to the particular person he’s addressing. Williams has always pulled the ‘bad boy’ persona so well as he can express that attitude through his power house of a voice.
Overall, Shine My Shoes serves as a strong choice of a third single; it would have proved a more reasonable choice of a first single from Swings Both Ways than Go Gentle as it is more vocally and instrumentally triumphant. Shine My Shoes has given us the Robbie Williams we’ve gotten to know and love with empowering vocal and cheeky lyrics, he is definitely one of the world’s musical treasures and we’re sure he still has some oomph in him yet.