Progress (Take That album)

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Progress
Studio album by Take That
Released 15 November 2010 (2010-11-15)
Recorded September 2009 – August 2010;
Sarm West Studios
(London, United Kingdom)
Electric Lady Studios
(New York City, United States)
The Village
(Los Angeles, United States)
Real World Studios
(Box, United Kingdom)
The Record Plant
(Los Angeles, United States)
Tracques
(London, United Kingdom)
Abbey Road Studios
(London, United Kingdom)
Genre Pop, electropop, pop rock
Length 47:16
Label Polydor
Producer Stuart Price
Take That chronology
The Greatest Day
(2009)
Progress
(2010)
Progressed
(2011)
Singles from Progress
  1. "The Flood"
    Released: 14 October 2010
  2. "Kidz"
    Released: 20 February 2011
  3. "Happy Now"
    Released: 18 March 2011
Progressed
Re-release cover
Singles from Progressed
  1. "Love Love"
    Released: 11 May 2011
  2. "When We Were Young"
    Released: 11 July 2011

Progress is the sixth studio album by British band Take That. It is the band's first album to feature Robbie Williams since 1995. The album was released in the United Kingdom on 15 November 2010. The album received positive reviews, with most critics commending the influence of electronic music and synthesizers. It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the fastest-selling album of the century and the second fastest-selling album of all-time. Progress also became the biggest-selling album of 2010 by selling over one million copies in 24 days. As of June 2011, the album had sold 2.8 million copies in the UK. The album also became a commercial success in Continental Europe, where it charted within the top ten of twelve countries. Progress has been certified two-times platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry for shipments of two million copies inside Europe. On 10 June 2011, the album was released alongside the EP Progressed, which features eight previously unreleased tracks.

Background[edit]

On 15 July 2010, it was announced that Robbie Williams would be returning to the band. A joint statement between Williams and the group said, "The rumours are true... Robbie is back... and to celebrate, we've written and recorded a new album, due for release later this year." On the same date, national newspapers printed the headline: "Following months of speculation, it has been confirmed that Robbie Williams is to make a return to Take That. Gary, Howard, Jason, Mark and Robbie have been recording a new studio album as a five-piece, which is due for release in November."[1] Work on the album commenced in September 2009, following the final date of their sell-out "Take That Presents: The Circus Live" tour. Shortly afterward, it was confirmed that, 'all five members of the band had met up, to begin writing the six songs which would set the foundation for the album.'[1] The album marks the band's 20th year in the Music Industry, as well as fifteen years since the release of the Nobody Else album, the last material the band recorded as a five-piece.[2] The album cover was photographed by Nadav Kander, who had previously photographed Barack Obama.[3] It mimics the iconic ape-to-man image, and has been positively received by critics.[4][5]

Singles[edit]

  • "The Flood" was released as the album's lead single on 7 November 2010.
  • "Kidz" was released as the album's second single on 20 February 2011.[6]
  • "Happy Now" was released as the third single from the album on 18 March 2011.
  • "Love Love" was released as the album's fourth single and the first single from the double disc edition, titled Progressed on 11 May 2011.
  • "When We Were Young" was released as the album's fifth single and the second single from Progressed on 11 July 2011.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 80/100[7]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[8]
BBC Music (positive)[9]
Daily Mail (positive)[10]
Entertainment.ie 4/5 stars[11]
The Evening Standard 4/5 stars[12]
The Express 4/5 stars[13]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[14]
The Independent 4/5 stars[15]
Q 4/5 stars[16]
Virgin Media 7/10 stars[17]

Progress received positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 80, based on 8 reviews, which indicates "generally favourable reviews".[7]

Q praised the album calling it "a triumph; musically, conceptually, personally."[18] Virgin Media gave the album 7 out of 10, calling it "a deceptively dark offering from the usually quite cheerful man band".[17] The Guardian gave Progress a rating of four out of five commenting that "Take That's first album as a quintet since 1995 is informed by two things: a genuinely new sound and Robbie Williams's seamless reimmersion into life as a band member, which is played out on emotional duets with Gary Barlow and Mark Owen" and concluding that "[Williams] and his bandmates have produced a noteworthy modern album."[14] BBC Music gave the album a positive review stating: "If the title of Progress suggests the band's new sound will be a merging and evolving of Take That Mk.II and recent Robbie Williams fare, the reality is startlingly different. Progress is something entirely new – Take That Mk.III – and the strangest, most ambitious and most exciting record its creators have ever been involved in."[9] Yahoo! Music UK awarded the album 8/10 and wrote, "It's all about Robbie Williams. His vocals dominant seven out of ten tracks, the keyboard heavy makeover has little to do with Take That and everything to do with his last three solo albums, and while the reunion has clearly done him the world of good, it doesn't seem like a fair and equal exchange."[19]

Adrian Thrills of Daily Mail praised producer Stuart Price for "pushing Take That towards new ­horizons without ­compromising their melodic power or ability to pen a ­sing-along chorus" and stated "Despite trying too hard in places, Take That deserve credit for taking risks."[10] Luke Turner of the NME gave the album seven stars out of ten stating the album is a "triumphant and quite crudely banging stadium synth-pop record" and praised Take That for "setting the pace [for other bands]."[20] In his review for The Independent, Andy Gill wrote: "Rather than pop balladry, the album leans heavily on electronic beats and textures, and reflects misgivings about science and humanity", rating the album four out of five.[15] AllMusic awarded the album four stars out of five stating "the emphasis is not on harmonies, it’s on groove and texture, ballads taking a backseat to clever rips on Gorillaz or synthesized glam stomps" and concluded "Progress is the hippest and best music Take That has ever made."[8] The Express gave the album a positive review stating, "Progress is a testament to the fact they know what they’re doing. This is classic pop that dips into R'n'B and rock, and it’s a job well done."[13] Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph gave the album three stars out of five and said that Robbie Williams "seems to have infused his band mates with his very peculiar sense of fun. [...] But, be warned, it is not the Williams of Angels and Let Me Entertain You, it’s the maverick maniac of the derided Rudebox" and stated "They should be applauded for daring to deliver a laugh out loud, big, brash, electro stadium epic".[21] Entertainment.ie's Jenny Mulligan described Progress as "jammed with smart, stylish and irresistibly catchy tunes" concluding that "[the album] is a belter."[11]

Sputnik Music gave "Progress" 4 stars out of five stating that "on one dimension, it is mathematically composed with each sound and beat clean and shine, full of electronic soundings, on the other – it is an autobiographical story of Take That which at the same time can be interpreted as the evolution of the global society as a whole [...] four stars out of five are given for the album and its songs for being very clear, straightforward, understandable and, at the same time, far not meaningless – this is what pop-music was created for, wasn't it? In Russia many would suggest that a good music is when a listener can understand the meaning of the album without even knowing a word in a foreign language – in this Take That succeeded truly amazingly".[22]

Track listing[edit]

The main album's track listing was announced through the group's official site on 19 October 2010.[23] Two special versions of the album were available. The Deluxe version of the album comes encased in a three-sided gatefold wallet, which also contains an additional 12-page album booklet and five portrait cards.[24] The Super Deluxe version of the album contains a bonus DVD containing the documentary Look Back, Don't Stare, as well as six super art prints of the band.[25] A double disc edition was then announced on 19 May 2011. The first disc features the main Progress tracklisting, whilst the second disc consists of a mini-album, Progressed, which contains eight new songs. This version of the album was released on 13 June 2011.[26] "Eight Letters" samples the song "Vienna" as performed by Ultravox and written by Midge Ure, Chris Cross, Warren Cann and Billy Currie.

All songs written and composed by Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams

No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "The Flood"   Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow 4:49
2. "SOS"   Mark Owen and Robbie Williams 3:44
3. "Wait"   Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow and Howard Donald 4:15
4. "Kidz"   Mark Owen and Gary Barlow 4:42
5. "Pretty Things"   Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow 4:03
6. "Happy Now"   Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams 4:03
7. "Underground Machine"   Robbie Williams 4:15
8. "What Do You Want from Me?"   Mark Owen 4:37
9. "Affirmation"   Howard Donald 3:54
10. "Eight Letters"   Gary Barlow 4:41
11. "Flowerbed" (hidden track) Jason Orange 3:48

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart succession[edit]

Preceded by
Past Forward by Thomas Helmig
Danish Albums Chart number-one album
26 November 2010 – 3 December 2010
17 December 2010 – 6 January 2011 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
Welcome Back Colour by Tina Dickow
Preceded by
Loud by Rihanna
European Top 100 Albums number-one album
3 December 2010 – 11 December 2010 (1 week)
Succeeded by
N/A last number one on chart
Preceded by
The Promise by Bruce Springsteen
German Albums Chart number-one album
3 December 2010 – 10 December 2010 (1 week)
Succeeded by
Große Freiheit by Unheilig
Preceded by
Joy to the World by Pink Martini
Greek Albums Chart number-one album
3 December 2010 – 10 December 2010 (1 week)
Succeeded by
I Zoi Mou Erotas by Natassa Theodoridou
Preceded by
Greatest Hits by Bon Jovi
Gravity by Westlife
Irish Albums Chart number-one album
19 November 2010 – 26 November 2010
17 December 2010 – 1 January 2011 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
Gravity by Westlife
Loud by Rihanna
Preceded by
The Gift by Susan Boyle
Suck It and See by Arctic Monkeys
Scottish Albums Chart number-one album
21 November 2010 – 8 January 2011
25 June 2011 – 2 July 2011 (8 weeks)
Succeeded by
Loud by Rihanna
Born This Way by Lady Gaga
UK Albums Chart number-one album
21 November 2010 – 2 January 2011
19 June 2011 – 26 June 2011 (7 weeks)

Personnel[edit]

The following people contributed to Progress:[57]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Ireland 15 November 2010 (2010-11-15)[24][58] Polydor Records CD, digital download
(standard and deluxe edition)
275592-7
United Kingdom
Germany[59] 19 November 2010 (2010-11-19) CD, digital download 274478-1
Australia[60] Universal International 274847-4
Japan[61] 24 November 2010 (2010-11-24) UICP1121
Canada[62] 30 November 2010 (2010-11-30) Polydor Records 0252748474
Brazil[63] 7 December 2010 (2010-12-07) Universal International 2748474
United Kingdom 13 December 2010 (2010-12-13)[25] Polydor Records CD, DVD
(box set edition)
275742-5
13 June 2011 (2011-06-13)[26] CD – Progressed 277495-1

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Rumours Are True". takethat.com. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Take That make real Progress". The Sun (London). 29 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Take That strip off for Progress cover". The Belfast Telegraph. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Take That star Mark Owen wrestles his conscience The Sun. 19 October 2010.
  5. ^ Take That show 'ascent of man' thisislincolnshire.co.uk.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Kidz – out on Monday". Takethat.com. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Progress Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Progress – Take That". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 November 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Gill, Jaime (8 November 2010). "Review of Take That – Progress". BBC Music. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Thrills, Adrian (12 November 2010). "Robbie Williams relights the fire with Take That | Mail Online". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Mulligan, Jenny (11 November 2010). "Take That – Progress. Review by Jenny Mulligan". Entertainment.ie. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  12. ^ Aizlewood, John (12 November 2010). "CDs of the week: Take That pull off a masterstroke". Evening Standard. UK. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Gage, Simon (12 November 2010). "Album review – Take That: Progress (Polydor)". The Express. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  14. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline (11 November 2010). "Take That: Progress". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  15. ^ a b Gill, Andy (12 November 2010). "Take That, Progress (Polydor) – Reviews, Music – The Independent". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Reviews of Progress by Take That, collected by Any Decent Music". Any Decent Music. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Fear, Bob (2 November 2010). "Take That Progress album review – Reviews – Music – Virgin". Virgin Media. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  18. ^ "Progress reviewed – Take That Official Site". Takethat.com. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  19. ^ Gennoe, Dan (12 November 2010). "Take That – ‘Progress’ – Album Reviews". Yahoo! Music UK. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  20. ^ Turner, Luke (29 November 2010). "Take That - Album Review: Take That, 'Progress' (Polydor) - Album Reviews - NME.COM". NME. UK. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  21. ^ McCormick, Neil (12 November 2010). "Take That: Progress, CD review". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  22. ^ Bextor, Choi Korie (15 April 2011). "Take That Progress". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  23. ^ Progress tracklisting revealed – Take That Official Site
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  25. ^ a b ""Exclusive Limited Edition Box Set" Take That | Progress Boxset 2010 at Universal Music". Universal Music. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "Take That – 'Progressed'". Takethat.com. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
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  30. ^ "Take That – Progress" (In Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien.
  31. ^ "Take That – Progress" (In French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien.
  32. ^ "Take That – Progress". Danishcharts.com. Hung Medien.
  33. ^ "Take That – Progress". Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien.
  34. ^ "Take That: Progress" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  35. ^ "Take That – Progress". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien.
  36. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline". Musicline.de. Media Control.
  37. ^ "greekcharts.com – Take That – Progress". IFPI Greece. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  38. ^ "GFK Chart-Track". Chart-Track.co.uk. GFK Chart-Track. IRMA.
  39. ^ "Take That – Progress". Italiancharts.com. Hung Medien.
  40. ^ "Chart Track". Oricon. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
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  51. ^ "Italian album certifications – Take That – Progress" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry.  Select Album e Compilation in the field Scegli la sezione. Select Week -- and Year ----. Enter Take That in the field Artista. Click Avvia la ricerca
  52. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Take That – Progress" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  53. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2013" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  54. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Take That; 'Progress')". Hung Medien. 
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  57. ^ Progress (liner notes). Take That. Polydor. 2010. 
  58. ^ [1][dead link]
  59. ^ Take That: Progress (2010): CD: amazon.de
  60. ^ "PROGRESS , Music , Music Genres, Pop/Rock : JB HI-FI". Jbhifionline.com.au. 19 November 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  61. ^ Progress【CD】-Take That|Popular Rock|Rock & Pop|Music|HMV ONLINE Online Shopping & Information Site
  62. ^ "hmv.ca: music, dvd, blu-ray, videogames, MP3 digital downloads". HMV Group. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  63. ^ Take That: Progress (Brazil release date)