- 20 Nov 19
Patchy comeback from Irish pop heroes
When Take That reformed in 2005, they set the blueprint for how pop reunions should be done. Gary Barlow and the boys transformed themselves from bubblegum novelty merchants to a more mature "man band", with grown-up songs. In the process, they gave themselves a second bite of the cherry. Now, Westlife have mirrored that strategy on Spectrum. Shrewdly realising they never had a Barlow in their ranks, they've enlisted the songwriting skills of Ed Sheeran, James Arthur, James Bay and long-time producer Steve Mac. Clearly, they want to change people's perceptions and retain their place at the top of the pop tree.
Borrowing from the songbooks of Gavin James and Ryan Tedder, Spectrum proves that you really can teach an old dog new tricks. Indeed, there are a fistful of numbers likely to light up the charts. 'Dynamite' - a spiritual cousin of Katy Perry's 'Firework' - is possibly the best number they've put their name to. 'Take Me There', meanwhile, sounds stadium-ready thanks to a catchy "woah-oh-oh" refrain. Spectrum has plenty of stumbles along the way, mind, and features more fluff than the residents of Sesame Street. But on the whole, it marks a bold new chapter for the record-breaking bunch.