It cannot be said that Robbie Williams is a Scrooge with his holiday album, The Christmas Present. In its deluxe edition -- which is the only edition available upon its initial 2019 release -- The Christmas Present is a double album, divided into a disc chronicling "The Christmas Past" on one disc and "The Christmas Future" on the other, thereby turning the record's title into a double-edged pun. The Christmas Past disc is devoted to shopworn seasonal standards, supplemented by a handful of newer tunes written in the same ornate fashion. The Christmas Future finds Robbie loosening his tie and shaking off the strings, splitting his time between sincere ballads and impish novelties. Naturally, The Christmas Future is livelier than The Past, with Williams camping it up with Tyson Fury on the naughty "Bad Sharon" and then happily tweaking both sides of the political aisle with "Snowflakes." Williams may like to act like a bad boy, but at his heart he's a sentimental cornball and, ultimately, he winds up making mawkishness seem merry on The Christmas Present.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2