Album Review: Westlife – Greatest Hits

19/11/2011 21:44

westlife 'Greatest Hits' album'

Westlife shocked their fanbase last month by announcing that their Greatest Hits Tour next year will be their last.

After thirteen years in the industry with 13 UK chart-topping singles, the Irish boyband are calling it a day with a farewell tour and Greatest Hits release.

Whilst this is the first release since the band split with Simon Cowell’s Syco label, the move won’t have had a huge effect on the record.

Greatest Hits is a fine retrospective of one of the best boy-bands in history, from first single ‘Swear It Again’ to new track ‘Lighthouse’.

Although the omissions of hits like ‘When You’re Looking Like That’ and ‘Bop Bop Baby’ seem surprising at first, most exclusions were featured on 2002′s Unbreakable: The Greatest Hits Volume 1.

Listening to what is here, the album has a chilled out vibe, with a very solid selection of songs, and idea to order it chronologically is a nice touch, although it doesn’t add a great deal to the collection.

There were debates before the Greatest Hits’ release, with the quartet discussing whether to re-record former bandmate Brian McFadden’s vocals.

Thankfully, the tracks were left as they were, rather than being reimagined and eliminating a big part of Westlife’s sound early on.

As much as any boyband tied to Cowell or Louis Walsh will come under criticism, their covers of hits like ‘Uptown Girl’ and ‘Mandy’ hold up well.

The new songs are largely in the same (very) soft-rock ballad style, and fit in nicely as the final chapter in Westlife’s career.

Across Greatest Hits, we’re taken on a journey from the band’s beginnings through to their last recordings, constantly reminded of the talent they showed.

Female First – Alistair McGeorge


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