Spectrum – Westlife album

Westlife released their eleventh studio album, Spectrum, on 15 November 2019. It was the band’s first album release since Westlife’s Greatest Hits in November 2011.

Find Spectrum on Amazon UK*

Westlife Spectrum album cover – album artwork by Markus Feehily

When was the album released?

The album was originally due for release in September 2019, but the release was put back to November 2019 until after the end of Westlife’s Twenty Tour, to give time for the guys to take a well-earned break after the tour, before promotion of the album.

What’s the tracklist?

In total there are 11 tracks on the album, four of these were released as singles in 2019.

The tracklist of Westlife’s Spectrum album is:

  1. Hello My Love – the first single to be released. It’s an uptempo song, described by Mark as “upbeat, positive, colourful pop”, co-written by Ed Sheeran and Steve Mac
  2. Better Man – the second single release. Mark describes it as “a modern Westlife 2.0 ballad”, written by Ed Sheeran, Fred Gibson and Steve Mac
  3. My Blood – the fourth single release, a love song about growing up, which Shane says “has the same power as Flying Without Wings
  4. Dynamite – the third single from the album, described by Mark as “the sister song to Hello My Love” and an “uptempo, big, colourful song”
  5. Dance – written by Casey Smith, Luka Kloser, Ryan Tedder and Zach Skelton
  6. One Last Time – written by Ed Sheeran and Steve Mac. Nicky Byrne posted a (very brief!) “sneaky clip” of the track on instagram two weeks before the album release.
  7. Take me There – written by Camille Purcell, Markus Feehily, Shane Filan and Steve Mac
  8. Repair – written by James Bay and Steve Mac
  9. Without You – written by James Bay and Steve Mac
  10. L.O.V.E – written by Camille Purcell, Markus Feehily, Shane Filan and Steve Mac
  11. Another Life – written by Alex Charles and Tom Williams

Spectrum album lyrics:

Hello My Love lyrics
Better Man lyrics
My Blood lyrics
Dynamite lyrics

Where can I buy the album?

The Westlife album Spectrum is available to purchase online at the following sites:

The CD is priced £10.99 (GBP); the digital version £8.99 (GBP).

Spectrum album tracklisting
Westlife in Singapore, February 2019. Photo: @markusfeehily

Who’s written the songs?

There are a number of well-known names credited on the Spectrum album notes, who’ve co-written tracks on the new album. Westlife have said:

“…It has been fantastic to collaborate with our long term friend Steve Mac, James Bay and Ed Sheeran. There’s no doubt that they’ve helped us make this album the best it can be.”

Ed Sheeran’s five Westlife album tracks

Ed Sheeran wrote a grand total of five tracks on the album (as revealed by Shane on Smooth Radio). He co-wrote Hello My Love, Better Man, Dynamite, and My Blood – the first four of these were released as singles in the UK.

Ed has written a number of songs for Westlife – Mark stated in an interview with OfficialCharts.com in July 2019 that Ed had penned six songs for the album – so the guys had plenty to choose from for the final album tracklist! It seems the track Anywhere (mentioned in an article on Metro.co.uk) is one track written by Ed which didn’t make it to the final album.

Louis Walsh, Westlife’s manager, has said:

“Ed Sheeran and Steve Mac are the best songwriting team on the planet right now. The two lads have written four tracks on the new Westlife album, one of them is an uptempo anthem… which is going to be massive.”

(source – The Sun)

Steve Mac – author of numerous Westlife hits

Steve Mac’s name may be familiar as he co-wrote (and produced) some of Westlife’s most popular songs to date. This includes the hits Flying Without Wings, Swear it Again, and What Makes a Man.

Shane said:

“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 [Sheeran] on Shape of You.”

Shane in 1883 Magazine

Steve Mac added:

“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”

Source – The List

James Bay’s two Westlife album tracks

English singer-songwriter James Bay is credited as having co-written two tracks on the album: Repair and Without You.

Louis Walsh also approached James Arthur, of X-Factor fame, for new material for the guys to record (source – The Mirror), however the final album tracklist doesn’t include anything by him.

Did Westlife write any of the songs on the Spectrum album?

Shane and Mark are listed as co-writers on a couple of the tracks:

Take Me There and L.O.V.E. are both co-written by Camille Purcell, Markus Feehily, Shane Filan and Steve Mac.

Camille Purcell has written numerous UK Number 1 Singles, and has written singles for Sam Smith, Rhianna, Little Mix, Stormzy, and many more.

Shane talked about how difficult it was to pick which songs should go on the album:

“We spent 14 months making this album, which is the longest we’ve ever spent making an album. And there’s 11 songs on the album. And yeah, you know, there were songs that were really, really great songs that we felt just didn’t make the cut, because we wanted every song on this album to be a potential single”

Source – Smooth Radio, October 2019

Are there any covers on the album?

All the songs on the new album Spectrum are brand new tracks, there aren’t any covers on the album.

Westlife had confirmed this in a Facebook Live interview in February 2019, where they stated that all the songs recorded to date were brand new.

The guys stated:

“The huge success of our comeback single ‘Hello My Love’ gave us the confidence that our fans and the public were completely up for a new album of original songs.

We’ve probably had more input into this album than any other in our careers.”

Shane in the recording studio, March 2019
Shane in the recording studio, March 2019. Photo: @shanefilanofficial

What singles have been released from the album?

The following singles were released in 2019:

All four of the singles were co-written by Steve Mac and Ed Sheeran.

Westlife previously said that they hoped to release four, or even more, singles from the album. Mark commented:

“Hello My Love has been so popular, it’s even affecting our potential single choice for the third single, the fourth single…”

Mark on BBC Radio 5 Live, April 2019

In an interview in October 2019, Shane talked about single releases from the album:

“…we wanted every song on this album to be a potential single – not that we’ll release 11 songs, but we plan to release more singles, obviously, off this album, even after Christmas next year, running up into Wembley.

So there’s probably going to be more singles released off this album than we’ve ever released off an album, hence the quality that we feel is the strongest. We do feel this is one of our best albums, if not our best album, quality-wise. We’re in a great position. We’ve got Ed Sheeran and people like that and Steve Mac writing us songs. It’s incredible.”

Source – Smooth Radio

What does the album title Spectrum mean?

A spectrum is a band of colours, as seen in a rainbow. Mark described Hello My Love as “upbeat, positive, colourful pop” – we reckon that the title of the album seems to echo this idea of colourful music!

Did you know? Mark first suggested the name Spectrum for the album, and he also created the album artwork.

Westlife have said:

“The title Spectrum came from us talking about how we feel younger, happier and more energetic than we ever have in our career.”

Spectrum is a title that represents the various different shades and colours of our personalities, vocals and general perspectives that all blend together in a unique way to create Westlife.”

“It’s also a word that represents the various shades and colours in the band, meaning it’s the perfect metaphor for our different points of view and perspectives but together, they somehow join to work perfectly.”

(Source: Daily Mail)

When and where were the songs on the album recorded?

Westlife recorded the album in Dublin, LA and London. When the album was first announced in October 2018, Mark commented:

“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.”

“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.”

Mark at Westlife Press Conference, 23 Oct 2018

Shane also explained the work to do at the beginning of 2019 to get the album ready:

“We’ve only got three songs recorded, so we have to get another probably ten [recorded].”

Shane on Magic FM, 9 January 2019

Louis Walsh previously said that Westlife would go back into the studio in January 2019 to finish recording the album (Source – Irish News).

What else can we expect from the album Spectrum?

Shane said in 2019 that the band wanted the album to be better than their very first album Westlife, which he reckoned was their best album to date:

“We’re trying to make the best album we’ve ever made”

Shane on Facebook live, 7 February 2019

Westlife have also said of the album:

“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.”

“The album has everything that we love in music, heartfelt emotional songs and also great uptempo’s that are designed for our stadium performances.”

“We couldn’t be happier with how the last few months in the studio have gone and we cannot wait for our fans to hear the end results. We are making new fresh pop music for old and new fans alike and are so excited to share ‘Spectrum’ with everybody,”

(Source: The Mirror)

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