Now free from his temporary reunion with Take That, Britain's most unpredictable pop idol has just distilled an impossibly admirable sense of living-and-breathing fun without letting it all plummet down Cliff Wackiness.
Granted, the horns may border on Mark Ronson over-use, but "Candy" — Robbie Williams' first proper single since the unfortunately limp Reality Killed The Video Star — is fantastic. It's a sun-bleached Polaroid shot of Robbie's 2006's creative-peak Rudebox with rogue smudges of Madness and Motown. The verses are as wonderful as the chorus. Which is the pop promised land.
The opposite of evil, refusing to sound like anything currently in the charts, "Candy" is the sort of spark that's both addictive and ridiculous without the novelty-song comedown, and it doesn't hurt that the video is a dimpled, 'Skins'-cameoing, color-out-of-the-lines riff on U.N.K.L.E.'s "Rabbit In The Headlights" and Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony".