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5.0 out of 5 stars
Westlife - Allow Us To Be Frank, 15 Jan 2005
Westlife Album Review - Allow Us To Be Frank
Westlife are one of the biggest pop bands since the Beatles, since they started out in 1999 the band has had massive chart success with 12 number one singles, 5 number one albums and World Wide selling Area tours. Now after five years, a Greatest Hits Album and one member down the guys are back with a whole new flavour "The Ratpack".
The new album is named Allow Us To Be Frank and shows a whole new side to the pop phenomenon. After losing band member Bryan McFadden in March 2004, the guys wanted to come back with a different feel to show their fans that they are here to stay and they have most certainly done that. The album has classic tracks from the Ratpack era such as "Aint that a kick in the head" and "Fly me to the moon". People have always written off the guys, saying they are just manufactured but this album brings the band into a whole new world of music and shows their raw talent.
The album has a kick start to it like an Olympic Runner of their marks with a classic opening track, "Aint that a kick in the head". It shows all the band members voices in a totally new way and allows them to be frank with there ever growing public. The album starts with a bang and fades into the old routine of simple love ballads but from the old stage. The song "Smile" lets the members Shane Flian and Mark Feehily take control and show the public their true voices that they have held back for years. There angelic tones reach notes no body has ever touched since the classic verses were first recorded back in the 1950's.
In the next stage of the album the band-let member Shane Flian take lead vocals in the track "Let there be love" which is best remembered in the UK for being on the British Beef advertisement. He cruises through this song with great ease and this shows, the claming rhythms bring this song right up to date and lets the Westlife public hear there lead singer he all his glory.
As the album progresses it takes a turn into duet mode. There is a fantastic collaboration with young fan Joanne Hindley, who Westlife chose them selves to sing on the album after seeing thousands of wannabe fans. The track "The way you look tonight" is a classic love song, which has A class vocals from the special guest and the perfect melodies from Westlife. This tune gets a new lease of life from a new generation. Then into track 6 and 7 Westlife pick up the pace quicker than a cheater after its prey, with the all time favourites "Come fly with me" and "Mack The knife" which has a fantastic 65-piece orchestra present.
After them tracks the guys go for the simple loving love songs and show their display of vocal talents superbly with the tracks "I left my heart in San Francisco" and "Summer Wind".
If you thought by track 9 that this album was for the old romantics track 10 raises it to a whole new level, as it has a story to tell and you need to know the outcome. The Bobby Darin classic "Clementine" allows the other band members; Kian Egan and Nicky Bryne to show their up-tempo talent and their funny side, by using very amusing sound effects throughout the track. It then goes straight into what I feel to be an all time Ratpack classic love song "When I fall in love" which was first sung by the legend that is Nat King Cole. The orchestra that is used sets this up to be an explosive track and the lead vocals do not disappoint it.
Then onto the last two tracks which for me have to be the best. The song "Moon River" is sang by member Mark Feehily and he displays a performance, which can on be described as outstanding. His tone and his soul sound sets this song to another level and gives it a new edge. The words within this song are that of moving but being the shortest track on the album this is the track that stays with you well after the album has finished.
The finale of Allow Us To Be Frank is exactly what this album needs, a bang. It started with one and ends with one. The closing track "That's Life," allows the band to sing what they have felt and also, what the band has been through. With each stage in their band career they have always felt the have been able to 'pick themselves up and get back in the race' as the song states. The band have openly said to the media and fans that they wanted to cover this track most of all as they feel that it represents their music career and all that they have been through as a band in the past 6 years.