This latest album from the group sees them still confident in the music that they are creating – but with a more reflective vibe to it.

The strength of Westlife’s appeal is the way in which they create simple and unfussy music that speaks to people. Yes this means that they will never be considered ‘cool’ – but there is more to making music than simply fitting with what is around and competing with new and emerging artists. It is about creating the sort of music that suits the artist’s needs and where they are in their lives at the moment – which for me is what this album shows.

Album opener ‘Starlight’ has plenty of confidence and will sound great performed live – it sees Westlife in their comfort zone and thinking about what their fans are expecting for them but equally it allows the listener to engage with the album from the start.

Elsewhere, songs such as ‘Lifeline’, ‘Rewind’ and ‘Do You Ever Think of Me ‘ (all of which are real highlights of the album) show this is a group that seem to be reflecting more on life and where they are all at right now. ‘Do You Ever Think of Me’ feels particularly heartbreaking to listen to.

Some may find the fact that Westlife are content to play it safe a little bland – but honestly right now sometimes what we need is a bit of comfort and this is an album that delivers it as songs such as ‘Alive’ and ‘Alone Together’ proof. There is no denying that there is plenty of sincerity and heart to be found woven through this record that ensures that it is consistent in tone and intent – it never pretends to be anything more than it is which can’t always be said of other albums that have been released recently.

As a whole, Wild Dreams is an easy and pleasurable listen – showing that Westlife still have faith in the music that they are making will continue to keep the fans happy. It feels slightly early 2000’s nostalgic and honestly there is nothing wrong with that in my opinion right now.

By Emma Clarendon

Wild Dreams is available to buy or download now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐