For almost 30 years now, Take That have been creating moments for fans of pop music. From their days in the ’90s as heartthrobs to reuniting in 2010 with Robbie Williams and creating one of my favourite albums of all time, they have an extensive back catalogue of music everyone has heard at some point in their life.
They’re back (for good?) with what could be considered their fifth collection of greatest hits; albeit a slightly new take on a greatest hits package… the hits have been “reimagined”.
‘Odyssey’ spans the bands entire career and includes all their massive hits.
Gary Barlow is quoted as saying that the time of the standard greatest hits package is “over”, but I think there’s something to be said for curating your catalogue and looking to do something different. The idea to mix things up appeals to me.
The approach for this album is to do a bit of “reimagining” across the songs.
Bringing super producer Stuart Price onboard means there is a great flow across the album, something he’s good at doing.
For me though, the interspersing of interview snippets is an unnecessary distraction and takes away from being able to listen through. Admittedly, I could just make my own playlist on any streaming service if I wanted to cut out the interviews, but I feel like this style is better suited to film over audio.
The truly “reimagined” songs are limited to a select few near the end while the rest of the album gets a light remix.
And while the redone songs sound ok, they aren’t spectacular.
If I look at all the songs included here, the standouts from their career for me are ‘The Flood’, ‘Giants’, ‘Back For Good’ and ‘Greatest Day’. What a back catalogue.
There are also three new songs included on this collection, each member getting a chance to shine (pardon the pun).
Mark Owen’s ‘Everlasting’ is my favourite by a long shot. It feels contemporary and is really catchy.
Gary’s ‘Out Of Our Heads’ is bonkers and feels unnecessary.
Howard’s turn on lead vocals on ‘Spin’ is refreshing and quite enjoyable.
There are also a couple of collaborations worth mentioning, with Barry Gibb and Boyz II Men making appearances on a couple of the reimagined songs.
I’m never a huge fan of greatest hits packages myself, but this one is an incredible reminder of just how many hits the boys of Take That have had.
If anything, it’s an opportunity to get reacquainted with some amazing songs from the past or discover some incredibly strong pop tunes.
Imagine if they had reimagined all their hits fully – it might truly have been an odyssey.
VERDICT : as greatest hits 5/5, as greatest hits “reimagined” 2/5.
MUST LISTEN : Everlasting, Giants, Back For Good, The Flood, Greatest Day.