Westlife – What About Now?

Westlife have been out of the public eye for a little while now, and they’ve changed during their time away. It’s as poetic as the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly, except Westlife don’t do colourful wings, they do exquisitely tailored matching suits.

But seriously, Mark, Shane, Kian and the other blonde one went away and came back…as Take That. Yep, the boys went away, had a good hard think about their musical direction and decided to copy Gary Barlow’s ‘man band’ template. In live performances of the song, they’ve even ditched their trademark sit-on-stools and stand-for-the-key-change approach.

In honour of Westlife successfully reinventing themselves as Take That, I’ve rewritten portions of the press release:

Produced by long term collaborator Steve Robson, ‘What About Now’ is the first taster of the band’s brand new Take That’s sound. Although instantly recognisable as a Westlife Take That classic, complete with soaring melodies and rousing lyrics, the track injects an undeniably fresh production; bound to delight Westlife fans and pop enthusiasts alike. The single will be available to download on October 25th, with physical release following on October 26th.

Mark Feehily of the band says “We wanted the first single from our new album to be somewhere between the Westlife sound our fans know and love, and the new direction we’re heading in Take That’s last album. We’ve been experimenting with a fresh vibe on this record, after eleven years we see this as phase two of the Westlife story.”

Spending much of 2009 hidden away in studios across Europe and the US, Westlife have been quietly creating their most exciting album to date diligently studying Gary Barlow’s songwriting style and produced an album, to be released November 30th. Working with pop’s finest craftsmen, including grammy-nominated Ryan Tedder (Leona Lewis ‘Bleeding Love,’ Beyonce ‘Halo.’) as well as Steve Robson (James Morrison, Take That) the band has emerged with a collection of contemporary tunes, poised to surprise even the most ardent critic.

I’ve stopped the quote at “surprise even the most ardent critic” because in all seriousness, What About Now is a very good track. And I can’t criticise the song, because it’s probably one of the only songs by the band that hasn’t triggered my gag reflexes. So, for that, I tip my hat to the guys.

As a departure from their earlier sound, it’s not a massive leap. More of a small step, but it sounds like more surprises might be on the way from the collaborators on this album.

After a two year absence from the pop charts, it’s nice to see the guys from WestThat, and I hope they’re back (for good).

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4 Comments

  1. RandomEnigma

    Sorry Gerard but I have to strongly disagree. This cover they have released shows absolutely no musical progression whatsoever in the 12 years they’ve been around! What’s with all the covers?! I really despise the fact that they barely ever release any original material! I cannot fathom the hype around them at all! I read an article a few months back about how they’re new album will “sound completely different”! Rubbish! This is yet another bland cover of a great song. These guys are obviously cashing in on how much The X-Factor played Daughtry’s version this year…

    1. Gerard McGarry

      When I wrote this, I was expecting to get roundly flamed by Westlife fans, not to be told I hadn’t critcised hard enough!

      It’s part of the reason I ‘rewrote’ the press release though – I had exactly the same problem with the hype behind the group. The problem is, however, that I don’t credit Westlife’s fanbase with enough intelligence to see past the overly optimistic PR drivel.

      For my part, I can’t listen to it without hearing portions of Patience and Rule The World. It might be a Daughtry song, but they’re definitely channelling nu-Take That with the arrangement.

  2. RandomEnigma

    Haha, don’t worry I’m not criticising the review, we’re all entitled to our own opinions! For me, this is the same old boring Westlife. It just depresses me how their sound has changed so little over the 12 years they’ve been around…

  3. Loubylou

    Got to agree, all very true comments!  Plus – have you noticed that the video for ‘What About Now’ is almost a carbon copy of Take That’s ‘Patience’?!  Snowy back drop, four blokes in warm coats walking around looking pensive, all lined up against a dark back-drop at the end, then it’s lit up as they reach the high notes?!!  NO originality, Take That’s version was just amazing and this pales in comparison!

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