After returning triumphantly with their 2019 LP Spectrum, the Irish foursome have used the time afforded them by Covid-19 pandemic and made a new LP. Here is everything you need to know about it...
After returning triumphantly with their 2019 LP Spectrum, the Irish foursome have used the time afforded them by the Covid-19 pandemic and made a new LP, Wild Dreams. Here is everything you need to know about it...
A little background...
When hmv.com spoke to Nicky Byrne in the weeks before Westlife unveiled their comeback album, Spectrum, we asked him if the band were already lining up what to do next and his answer was: "I can’t see a new album coming any time soon, certainly we won’t work at the pace we used to. 13 albums in 14 years! No way.”
Naturally, neither of us could have known that Covid-19 was on the way and Westlife's stadium tour in support of that album would need to be shoved back to such an extent that the foursome have still yet to play it.
After briefly contemplating putting the band in the deep freeze again, the four members instead decided to throw themselves into sessions for their next album, working over Zoom with producers and writers from around the world.
Admitting that they ended up with a glut of material, the band have narrowed it down to 11 tracks and completed the album.
It is an album that, for the second LP in succession, has a new home. After returning with Virgin EMI, the band are now with Warner Music subsidiary EastWest and they've been left with two albums to tour next summer...
Who's producing it?
There's a rich collection of writers and producers on this LP. Amy Wadge, who helped Ed Sheeran write 'Thinking Out Loud', features on two tracks, while Sheeran himself has helped the band pen 'My Hero', working alongside veteran hitmaker Steve Mac, who wrote many of the band's biggest hits in their first run.
Irish bands Kodaline and Picture This have both collaborated with the band on a number of tracks, while big-name pop production house Digital Farm Animals have helped pen 'Rewind'.
Album opener 'Starlight', the record's lead-off single, sees the band working with Tom Grennan and frequent Rag & Bone Man collaborator Jamie Scott.
Swedes Rami Yacoub, Ilya Salmanzadeh and Max Elto also feature here, across an album packed with hitmakers.
Any special guests?
A stellar collection of producers and writers, but the album only features the four band members.
What does it sound like?
As you can probably infer from the way the album was created, this is an LP which hops from genre to genre. From the swelling bluster of 'Starlight' to the downtempo ballad of 'My Hero', the band bounce around with impunity. That said, every song has a whopping great chorus...
Does it deliver?
As they've made clear in their interviews since the reformation, the foursome are all pretty relaxed about the group's status and have made clear that they'll stop tomorrow if they feel like the magic has gone. Fortunately for their large and hungry fanbase, they've still found plenty on this new LP.