Album evaluations: Westlife – Wild Dreams and Peter Capaldi – St Christopher

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WestlifeWild Dreams

★★☆☆☆

When it involves pop bands, comebacks are par for the course. But one clearly wasn’t sufficient for Westlife. Three years on from their 2018 return, the Irish four-piece are again for spherical two with a brand new album, Wild Dreams. Shane Filan, Markus Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne have been grown males for some time now, however their newest launch reveals they’re content material staying put within the boy band zone.

On Wild Dreams, there are zero makes an attempt to experiment. There aren’t any interludes or halfway tonal shift. No seven-minute monitor that “pushes the boundaries of genre”. Instead, there’s traditional Westlife fare: schmaltzy love songs, upbeat ballads and, properly, extra schmaltzy love songs. It’s enjoyable to sing alongside to, no less than, because the band pepper every monitor with their well-known key-changes.

Even for bona fide cheese whizzes, the band’s lyrics are notably ripe. “I’m alone, you’re alone. It’s whatever / We should be, we should be together,” the group sing in opposition to the bubbly bassline of dance monitor “Alone Together”. They’ll supply the slightest glimpse of a recent edge earlier than bottling it and working again to the Noughties. It’s like your grandad’s thought of what fashionable pop music appears like.

Ed Sheeran-style filigreed guitar and a gentle drumbeat make “Do You Ever Think of Me” probably the most radio-ready tune. But stripped to spare instrumentals, as heard on piano-led ballad “Lifeline”, is when the harmonies hark again to the teen-pop period of limitless No 1 singles.

Always a crowdpleaser, Westlife give the individuals what they need. Tracks 12 to fifteen are reside recordings of hit songs together with “You Raise Me Up” and their cowl of Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl”, carried out at Ulster Hall. Their inclusion makes it clear there’s nothing the Irish crooners get pleasure from greater than a refrain of girlish screams. AN

Peter Capaldi – St Christopher

‘Doctor Who’ star Peter Capaldi has launched his debut album

(Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

★★★☆☆

Move over, Lewis Capaldi? Maybe not – it’s fairly laborious to compete with the record-breaking singer-songwriter. But make some room, no less than, for his cousin, Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, as he dips his toe into the music world aged 63. Capaldi was in a band at artwork college: “Our obsessions back then were melancholia, punk, synthesisers, power chords, rain, and being pale and interesting,” he stated in a latest interview. His debut album, St Christopher, sees him travelling again in time to these art-rocker roots.

Opener “Beautiful and Weird” swirls with creative synths, whereas “The Great Magnificence” goes heavy on the ability chords. Capaldi has cited Bowie as considered one of his all-time heroes (going as far as to attract inspiration for his efficiency because the Time Lord). There are loads of nods to the Starman right here, too, within the saxophone-laden tracks redolent of his “Let’s Dance” period. Meanwhile, the strings on “In Every Face” ramp up the emotion; “Impossible Youth” channels Eighties Bob Dylan. The album is at its weakest when Capaldi hurtles into dad-rock territory, as he does on “In Person”, or when he tries to imitate Bowie’s vocals to the purpose of pastiche.

“I don’t suddenly think I’m a rock star,” Capaldi stated just lately of his ardour undertaking, as if pre-empting those that would possibly begrudge him stepping out of his lane. St Christopher gained’t realign the celebs, but it surely’s a welcoming little bit of enjoyable from considered one of Scotland’s greatest and brightest. EA



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