Sunday, November 7, 2010

He's Strong, Yet Vulnerable!

I think I've figured out part of the secret of Robbie William's success.

It's his carefully crafted persona that broadcasts "I'm an alpha male bad boy" but lyrics that frequently suggest "But I'm somewhat vulnerable and introspective too".

Chicks love it, because bad boys are always appealing, and the sensitive part builds rapport. Average schlub guys like it, because they think 'Hey, I'm somewhat vulnerable and introspective too! Maybe women will like me now!' (They won't).

Add in some catchy pop/rock instrumentation, and it's a winning formula. Clearly Robbie Williams understands vulnerability game. Which sounds about right, given he seems to have pretty good game in general.

Take the song 'Feel'. The chorus is standard wuss rock:
'I just wanna feel real love,
Feel the home that I live in.
'Cause I got too much life,
Running through my veins, going to waste'
But look how he contrasts this in the next verse with his implied status of a) having lots of women and b) treating them as he pleases :
'I don't wanna die,
But I ain't keen on living either.
Before I fall in love,
I'm preparing to leave her.'
Demonstration of High Value, with a hint of Romantic Vulnerability.

'Come Undone' features another motif of his - I'm alpha enough to engage in reckless behaviour, but this recklessness leaves me exposed emotionally to you:
'I'm contemplating thinking about thinking
It's overrated Just get another drink and
watch me come undone...

If I ever hurt you your revenge will be so sweet
Because I'm scum, and I'm your son,
I come undone.'
Perhaps the epitome of this is in 'Strong'.

Here he threads the needle entirely - his sensitivity and introspection is about his own bad boy lifestyle! The Mobius links back on itself!:
'Early morning when I wake up
I look like Kiss but without the make-up
And that's a good line to take me to the bridge.'
Yes,that is a great line actually - easily the best in the song.

The chorus is inane, but hammers home the same tried and true formula to a catchy tune:
'You think that I'm strong.
You're wrong. You're wrong.
I'll sing my song.
My song. My song'
etc. It's all the same shtick. Whoever he's paying to write this stuff has got it figured out.

Ah, Robbie Williams! He's so cool and tough, and yet sensitive too! How dreamy...

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