The album features what Take That describe as "a throwback to the 90s, but with a modern twist". Beautiful World is their first album in which every member of the band sings lead vocals on at least one song. The album was number one in Ireland and the UK and was very well received critically. To date the album has sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide (including 2,820,079 in the UK alone as of July 2011). The album was the 2nd best selling of 2006 in the UK, after only being on sale for one month. The album was also the 4th best selling album of 2007, and 33rd best selling of 2008. The album since its release in November 2006 has spent 132 weeks (2 years and seven months) in the UK top 100.
The album has been certified as 9x Platinum in the UK, and in 2014 was the 32nd best selling album in British music history.
Two weeks before the official UK release of Beautiful World, iTunes UK made the album available for pre-order. It immediately shot up the online music store's Top Albums list, peaking at number 1 on the day of the release. In December 2006, Take That became the only act to secure a #1 position in the download chart, UK albums chart, singles chart, airplay chart and the video chart. The album received overwhelming positive reception from across the media, all praising the new musical direction that Take That had taken.
The album doesn't try for anything too dramatic and oozes with their obvious joy and gratitude at being back at the top of their game. Hearing Gary's voice on the majority of the tracks is a comforting reminder of times past, but having the other three as lead singers provides a refreshing change, with Jason Orange's Wooden Boat standing out particularly.
The songs are varied and more reflective than their previous work evoking the struggles to stick together and time passing. Their amazing comeback single 'Patience' jostles for prominence amongst a string of epic opening tracks including 'Reach Out' and 'Hold On' (Mark on lead vocal). Then there are the beautiful ballads 'Like I've Never Loved You At All', stand out track 'I'd Wait For Life' and the pensive 'What You Believe In'. The album gets its really interesting twist with the Beatles-esque 'Shine' and the folk-tinged 'Wooden Boat', with Jason taking his first lead vocal.