43 million sold albums and singles – the Irish boyband Westlife is definitely worth some superlatives. Six years after their final concert of their farewell tour 2012, they announced a reunion in October 2018. Some one year after that, they released their first album of the reborn Westlife quartet, Spectrum.
Westlife – About The Band
Westlife was found in summer 1998. Producer Louis Walsh formed the band of five members, Nicky Bryne, Shane Filan, Kian Egan, Mark Feehly and Brian McFadden. McFadden left the band in 2004. Their success in their home country Ireland and in the United Kingdom is as massive as their effort in the studio: between1999, when the band released their first album Westlife, and 2010, when Gravity was the last long-player of the band before Spectrum, they produced ten album. Neither of them placed worse then second best in Ireland and third-best in the UK. While in the early 2000s, the band had a lot of success in other markets, they could not keep that up with their later albums.
Their list of successful singles is even longer than the albums. When you focus on the band’s most international success, it was likely Uptown Girl. The Billy Joel cover taken from the Coast To Coast Album made it to the Top 10 in ten countries. One indicator for the popularity of the band at that time is that Claudia Schiffer is starring in the music video.
Westlife – Spectrum – Track by Track
Spectrum contains 11 tracks, which have a total playtime of 36 minutes:
1. Hello My Love
The first tunes you will likely listen to first of this comeback album are already the best of the whole album. A well-produced pop track, surprisingly electric and dance-alike…
2. Better Man
Better Man is much more towards a “traditional boy group sound”. Four strong voices make a really nice ballad.
3. My Blood
My Blood is somehow a mixture of the first two songs. More like a ballad, but quite a lot rhythm in it. It felt like a good song to me, though it is weaker than its predecessors.
Dynamite is to me another top song at the beginning of Spectrum. This track is likely the one which feels most like Westlife early 2000s sound – and it feels good.
Dance – not too much of a party song. Some of the tracks before are definitely better chances to conquer the dancefloor. While the first four songs made me listen to Spectrum, this one is perfect with a call from the mother in law.
6. One Last Time
This song is more focussing on the vocals again. A ballad, quite decently arranged. There are better songs on this album which just sound too similar.
7. Take Me There
Hmm, do you really want Westlife to take you somewhere? This song with strong backing vocals in the chorus is maybe the “best of the rest”, which means the best song after the first four tracks of Spectrum.
When your head is broken
Take my shoulder
Hide your worries there
Yeah, my arms are open
Dreams get stolen
Know that someone cares
I’ll stay up with you
By your side ’til you repair
Maybe they should rather sing about repairs after vehicle failure or household good. Not too many people would like to stop at this Irish soul garage.
9. Without You
Sad to say that, but there is just one tendency in Spectrum after four hours: if we are int he spectrum of light, we are already in the invisible colors. These songs just tend to lack of character. Sad.
That is another boyband-style song. Unfortunately, it feels like a song performed by a bunch of teenagers who just have laid down their first girl. The Irish combo is likely more advanced than producing averagely produced teen christmas.
11. Another Life
The album finishes in a classic way: acoustic guitars and a ballad alike song. Nice one for a nap. Not more. So sad – the four men are really able to sing and perform well. Maybe they just recorded this song (again) in Another Life
Westlife – Spectrum – Spotify
Spotify allows you to listen into the new Westlife songs:
Westlife – Spectrum – My View
After the first four songs, you just feel smashed by some great songs of the Irish boys, which are no longer boys, but men. Unfortunately, Spectrum feels a bit like an EP with too many bonus tracks: after the smashing start, there is hardly any song which feels catchy. Though the boys definitely proof in Spectrum that they still have a lot of potential, they don’t even keep it for sligthly more than half an hour. Unfortunately average.
Westlife – On Tour
In summer 2020, the band will tour Ireland and (majorly) the United Kingdom. The only concert in Germany or a neighbor country will be on Saturday, 15th August 2020, in Viborg, Denmark, at the Domkirken Rocker festival.
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