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Spectrum is the upcoming eleventh album by Irish boy band Westlife, scheduled to be released on 15 November 2019 through Virgin EMI Records.[1] It will include the singles "Hello My Love", "Better Man", "Dynamite", and "My Blood"[1] and feature collaborations with Ed Sheeran, Steve Mac, and James Bay.[2]

Spectrum
Westlife - Spectrum.png
Studio album by
Released15 November 2019 (2019-11-15)
LabelVirgin EMI
ProducerSteve Mac
Westlife chronology
The Farewell Tour: Live at Croke Park
(2014)
Spectrum
(2019)
Singles from Spectrum
  1. "Hello My Love"
    Released: 10 January 2019
  2. "Better Man"
    Released: 29 March 2019
  3. "Dynamite"
    Released: 5 July 2019
  4. "My Blood"
    Released: October 2019

Contents

Background, concept, development, and releaseEdit

After announcing their breakup in 2011 and their last appearance together in 2012, several rumours about Westlife reuniting and making new music surfaced. On 23 September 2018, several Irish news outlets reported that the group has been signed to Universal Music Group and Virgin EMI Records for a new record deal. On 3 October 2018, the group formally announced on their official social media accounts that there would be new music coming soon.[3] According to reports they had been preparing for the comeback for the previous twelve months. Group member Mark Feehily also said in 2017 that he hoped to get them all together for a proper catch-up.[4] Band members Nicky Byrne and Shane Filan stated about their reunion, "We still have a lot that we want to achieve as a band and we want to bring our new music to fans all over the world" and "While we were away, we realised what Westlife really meant to the fans — and to us."[5]

The album was recorded in Dublin, Los Angeles and London, with the band saying it "has everything that we love in music, heartfelt emotional songs and also great uptempos that are designed for our stadium performances". They also explained that they "couldn't be happier with how the last few months in the studio have gone".[2] The title, Spectrum, was chosen because the band said that it is a metaphor for "the various shades and colours of our personalities, vocals and general perspectives" that they feel "somehow join to work perfectly", "it came from us talking about how we feel younger, happier and more energetic than we ever have in our career."[6] On 24 May 2019, they revealed their new Spectrum, "is a mix of old and new sound".

Band manager Louis Walsh also said in separate interviews that the most important things now are the songs, and that it will function as an introduction to their new sound, adding: "I was just waiting for them to decide when. There were record deals on the table, but the icing on the cake was Ed Sheeran writing these amazing songs for them, as well as having Steve Mac, who produced their early songs, on track too." [...] "Sheeran's input adds a contemporary edge", "I've heard the first two songs and they are just incredible."[7] The band added, "The first two songs we’ve done are just incredible songs, with incredible lyrics and melodies. Steve Mac is one of our longest and most influential producers we’ve had throughout our entire career. He’s done most of our biggest hits and has worked previously with Ed on Shape of You." Mac and Sheeran also wrote with four tracks for the band, with one being an uptempo anthem. Some had been in the works since 2016.[8] Mac stated that the band's "signature sound" would return,[9] "There’s a few songs at the moment. We’re not sure how many will end up on the album. It just was fantastic getting back with [Westlife] and having that first meeting … I wanted to get back in there and all the feelings came back and the key changes come out and the gospel choirs … it’s gonna be great." Feehily and Filan adding: "We're not trying to change Westlife's sound, we're trying to evolve [...] We need to be a Westlife 2.0, a better version of ourselves. We wanted to come back and recreate Westlife's sound, but better, and be a better band, and the most important thing about any band is music."[10] "We’re trying to make the best album we’ve ever made", "We’re all driven by trying to create the best album of our careers. Our fans deserve the very best version of Westlife possible and with this album we feel that we’ve achieved that.", "We’d love to have an album ready for [2019] but in saying that, we’re entering into ‘Westlife 2.0’ and it’s about doing it right, and if it’s ready it’ll be ready." and "We’ve already begun recording a new album and we’re really excited about the few songs we’ve already done, so we just can’t wait to get back out and finish it as soon as possible." Filan said they have been recording new songs since July 2018. Walsh stated that the band would be back in recording studios in January 2019 but in December 2018, social media posts surfaced that showed the group was working with Daniel Davidsen and Peter Wallevik.[11] Wallevik also posted names of people the band were working with, including JC Stewart, Jordan Thomas, and Ed Drewett.[12] The band also worked with Carl Falk and James Bay.

On 13 April 2019, Walsh said that he believes there is at least half a dozen hits on the new album to the Irish Independent. The group added, "Hello My Love has been so popular, it’s even affecting our potential single choice for the third single, the fourth single…" and "Our new music is definitely at the level which we wanted to come back with so it’s up to the fans." As of January 2019, Filan said: "We’ve only got three songs recorded, so we have to get another probably ten [recorded]." In April 2019, they said nine songs had been recorded. One song entitled, "Anywhere", a 3-minute long "feel-good love song" written by Sheeran and produced by Mac is slated to be included in the track listing. In May 2019, Egan told in an interview that eight to nine songs they recorded where Sheeran all co-wrote. On their 7 June 2019 interview on This Morning, Filan said they recorded six songs co-written by Sheeran. The two singles released have gained 200 million streams globally so far as of July 2019. The tracks have also been the band’s most successful radio records. Hello My Love has had over 30,000 plays at UK radio to an audience of 275 million, and is one of the most played songs of 2019 on BBC Radio 2.

The full-length album will be released on 15 November 2019, after being moved from its initial planned release date of 6 September.[13] It will be released on CD, cassette and vinyl, as well as a digital download, and for streaming. It is their first studio album to be released in vinyl format.

PromotionEdit

The album pre-order became available on 12 April.[2]

SinglesEdit

The album's lead single, "Hello My Love", was released on 10 January 2019 with its music video on 11 January 2019. It reached number two in Ireland and Scotland, and is their highest charting on their official singles charts since "What About Now" in 2009, ten years ago. The single stayed at number one for two weeks on the UK Physical Chart, the group's highest charting since their 2006 single, "The Rose".

The second single, "Better Man", was released on 29 March 2019 alongside its music video. It became the band's second number-one on the UK Physical Singles Chart and reached number two on the UK Singles Sales Chart and Scottish Singles Chart.

The third single, "Dynamite", was released on 5 July 2019. The music video was shot in Arena Birmingham in the United Kingdom and in Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, Ireland where they performed the song live for the first time.

The fourth single, "My Blood", was announced in 14 September 2019.

TouringEdit

Westlife embarked on their thirteenth concert tour titled The Twenty Tour, which began in May and will conclude in September 2019. The first leg started in Belfast on 22 May 2019 at the SSE Arena before moving throughout mainland Europe and concluding in Dublin at Croke Park on 6 July 2019. The second leg began on 24 July at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok, Thailand and continues throughout the Asia with multiple dates at each venue. The tour will conclude on 15 September in London.

Track listingEdit

The album will include 11 tracks.[1]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Hello My Love"Steve Mac3:36
2."Better Man"Mac3:17
4."Dynamite"
Mac3:32

Release historyEdit

Region Release date Format Label
Various 15 November 2019 Universal Music Group,
Virgin EMI

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Spectrum by Westlife". iTunes Store. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Westlife announce brand new album 'Spectrum': 'It's our best ever'". Smooth Radio. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Westlife Official Instagram of Westlife" – via Instagram.
  4. ^ "Westlife star Mark says the band is set for a reunion... down at the pub". herald.ie.
  5. ^ "CONFIRMED: Westlife are officially getting back together and going on tour". joe.ie.
  6. ^ "Westlife announce new album Spectrum for September release". Arizona Daily Star. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Louis Walsh on Westlife, Boyzone, The X Factor and Elf on the Shelf". Irish News.
  8. ^ "ED START Pop superstar Ed Sheeran has written FOUR of the songs on Westlife's return album, manager Louis Walsh reveals". thesun.ie.
  9. ^ "Steve Mac: Westlife back with signature sound". Retrieved 26 October 2018 – via Twitter.
  10. ^ "Ed Sheeran wrote Westlife songs two years BEFORE the band decided to reunite". evoke.ie.
  11. ^ "daniel.h.davidsen Prince Of Wales The right way to end a session :) #westlife" – via Instagram.
  12. ^ "peterwallevik Epic moment writing with these guys and #shanefilan #markusfeehily #westlife 💫" – via Instagram.
  13. ^ "Here we go again 🎤🎤🎤🎤 Having just announced two Cardiff dates, that brings the Twenty Tour to 32 shows so far across Ireland & Uk, A brand new album coming after 8years in 2019! But.. it all kicks off on The Graham Norton Show on January 11th 🤞😲@thgnshow @grahnort". Twitter.