If Westlife with stubble and a pint sounds good to you - and you aren't that fussed...
Talia Kraines 2004
Following in the footsteps of Geri and Robbie, Bryan McFadden has left behind his fellow group members and transformed himself into his meaner, leaner, less clean-cut evil twin - Brian. After a buoyant start (debut solo single Real To Me reached no.1 in September 2004) things seemed promising. Sadly, the album Irish Son fails to live up to expectations.
Brian has been aided in writing this album by former Robbie co-writer, Guy Chambers. While his influence is immediately obvious in the soaring strings and rousing chorus of Real To Me, the rest of the tracks plod along without much inspiration, wallowing in self pity. Second single "'Irish Son" opens the album with Brian pouring out his heart about his difficult Catholic upbringing. Bang goes any hope of a duet with the Pope...
The album concentrates on recurring themes of regret, family and change. "Sorry Love Daddy" is a personal ode to his children, apologising for the break up of his marriage to ex-Kitten, Kerry Katona. It makes you wonder how long they've actually been apart as albums take time to write and record....perhaps he was writing whilst she was reigning in the jungle.
Walking Disaster lives up to its title. For a moment, the tempo changes as Brian attempts to elevate himself to stadium rock-god status. You've got the 'wooo's, the 'yeah's and the rocky riffs...you can almost see Brian punching the air at Wembley (or at least in his bedroom, in front of the mirror). But it sounds exactly like "Guilty" by The Rasmus. Groundbreaking stuff!
Irish Son ends with "Almost Here", a duet between Brian and Australian songstress Delta Goodrem. It wouldn't feel out of place on a Disney Soundtrack. Their voices do sound good together, and it's easy to imagine Delta standing high on a tower searching for her hero, and Brian galloping into view on a white horse to save her.
Brian appears to be marketed as a more sedate Bryan Adams, with a bit of Ronan thrown in for good measure. If Westlife with stubble and a pint sounds good to you - and you aren't that fussed about a good tune - then this may indeed be the album for you. This Irish son may be moving with the times, but he's definitely limping as he goes.