1 – Beautiful Tonight – Funky, upbeat about how “you never looked more beautiful tonight”. Nice vocal arrangement and nice use of instruments. Sounds like a choir in the background towards the end.
2 – Safe – What Westlife are traditionally known for, the sweeping ballad with key change towards the end 😉 A perfect “Stool” song (which if you’re a seasoned Westlife fan you’ll know what I mean!). Excellent choice for a first single… Shane’s vocals are just perfect. Here is the video
3 – Chances – Cover of Athlete’s song. Personally not heard the original. This sounds out of the box for Westlife… it kinda plods along. Maybe it’ll grow on me but it’s just too indie for the boys.
4 – I Will Reach You – Sounds like a track that is an “extra” that didn’t make it on the last album, it’s got that sound that “Where We Are” had as an album. Poppy chorus, Mark’s vocals suit this track well. Well done Mark on another track on the album, wonder if this was a follow-up to “Reach Out” from the “Where We Are” album?
5 – Closer – Another track that sounds like it fell off the “Where We Are” song train. Shane’s vocals fit nicely to this track. A pounding baseline, poppy song. Sounding a little bit like what I’ve heard recently from Take That. I hope it’s not a direction that Westlife go in. Nice to see the boys wrote this track. For all the “haters” they CAN write their own stuff!
6 – The Reason – Cover of Hoobastank’s song. Again, not heard the original. Sounds kinda indie, sweeping instruments in the background with the boys vocals strong in the foreground. Quiet moments lead into the loud chorus again.
7 – Tell Me It’s Love – Oh my I thought this was “My Love” the remix. Exact same background. A good poppy love song. Even Nicky gets a shot at a solo in this song.
8 – I Get Weak – This reminds me of Blue’s “Breathe Easy”. Shane’s vocals start this slow song and bring it into a strong chorus with drums. A good one for the tour!
9 – Before It’s Too Late – Piano fueled track, Mark’s vocals soft at the start leading into the sweeping instruments in the background. This actually seems like a Mark solo with the boys joining in on the chorus. He did co-write the song, again well done Mark!
10 – No One’s Gonna Sleep Tonight – The 2nd upbeat track on the album. Not quite “Uptown Girl” quality or “When You’re Looking Like That” but still a good poppy song. A good track to remix if released as a single.
11 – Difference In Me – Thought this one was going to be a slowie but it’s mildly uptempo, Shane’s vocals are raw on this one… raw being excellent in this case. The boys lend “sha la la la” in the background just in the right places. Very similar to “Don’t Calm The Storm” but slightly more funkier, from their first EP release in Asia in 1999. I’m not sure what they’ve done production wise but Shane’s vocals are just perfect on this track.
12 – Too Hard To Say Goodbye – Nice intro with the Irish instrument (sorry, don’t know what it is!). Like “Miss You” and “I Need You” on self-title debut album. Similar to “I’ll See You Again”. Nicky solo in this one. Written by the boys in remembrance to Nicky and Kian’s Dad’s.
13 – Please Stay (Bonus Track) – A cover but again I’ve not heard the original. This was performed live on their recent intimate gig. Nicky and Kian solos on this one! A good slowie piano vocal. Typical Westlife sound with the key change towards the end.
Overall I’d give this 10/10 but then I do love the boys and have done since 1998 🙂 But after the “shock” in change of style with “Where We Are” they’ve kinda gone back to their roots. Still not enough Nicky and Kian. Okay so Shane and Mark do have amazing voices but so do Nicky and Kian as proved going right back to “Season’s In The Sun” and “Fragile Heart” amongst others. Nothing outstanding with the uptempo songs like we expect from Westlife… so far I don’t have a favourite track but the album will grow on me 🙂
My first listen of the last album (Where We Are) I had immediate favourite tracks but also other tracks that grew on me. Still disappointed (like a lot of fans) that only one single was released from that album, I hope that doesn’t happen with this one.