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Wednesday 14 April 2010

Album review: Boyzone's Brother

Posted in: Music
By Andrew Grear - 13th March 2010

In 2006 Take That set the standard for pop band reunions. After a 10-year hiatus they re-emerged and released the best selling album of their career. Since then several bands have attempted reunions of sorts, most of which have been very unsuccessful.

Unsurprisingly, Boyzone have decided to jump on the bandwagon. After a rocky few years trying to get it launched they are back with their first studio set since 1998's Where We Belong titled Brother. In the 90's Boyzone were the leading ballad-singing heart-throbs until they passed the torch to Westlife and subsequently split up in 2000. Ronan went on to have a successful solo career and Westlife went on to vastly eclipse Boyzone in terms of success.

Therein lies the problem with this comeback. Westlife are still releasing hit singles and albums. Take That are riding a career high with sales they only ever dreamed of back in the 90's. 2008 X Factor runner-ups JLS are reminding people that not all boybands are in their 30's. There really isn't room for another boyband at the moment, especially not one who sound almost exactly the same as they did twelve years ago.

Boyzone: The band in 2010
The album title is a tribute to Stephen Gately who passed away in October last year, and the album sleeve is filled with pictures of the remaining members surrounded by photos of him, heartfelt thank you's and dedications to "Steo".

Gately's vocals are present on two of the tracks, the first single Gave It All Away penned by Mika (and thankfully sounding nothing like him - Boyzone doing We Are Golden is not something the world needs to hear), and Stronger. This sets the stage for the rest of the album, it's a Boyzone-by-numbers affair.

The lyrics can only be described as syrupy and it never goes above mid-tempo. Love Is A Hurricane is the best thing on offer here and even that is nowhere near as exciting as the title might suggest.

In the grand scheme of boyband offerings Brother is not necessarily a bad album and the fans who are still swaying along to No Matter What on their iPods will find it an enjoyable listen. For anyone else though it's a bit of a bore and they'll be asking "what's the point?"

On the video below: Boyzone's Gave it all Away video pays tribute to lost bandmember Stephen Gately.

Andrew Grear - 13th March 2010

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