by Westlife


On the Westlife shore of soft and sappy love, Turnaround involves a pebble toss toward rock, and it's all the better for it. If it had gone all the way, if it had found a producer willing to risk fortunes on morphing a pop group into a rock group, something remarkable may have happened. As it stands, it is a notch above typical, but only a notch. It is also the final album before the great turnover, in which lead vocalist Brian McFadden fled the group, stating that, "It's hard to juggle two lives when you've got a family." He subsequently reemerged as a solo artist and professed disgruntlement over the requirements associated with boy band captivity, which included shaving every day. When interviewed by Wil Marlow of The Journal, McFadden said, "I was standing there trying to sing a song like "Mandy" and be all emotional when I've never even met a Mandy." Surely he had met a Mandy, among the legions of fans the group had collected by this, their fourth original album. But having an artistic and independent view on a group's output would definitely cause friction when the producer is American Idol's stubborn Simon Cowell, who insisted the song be included. Ironically, Barry Manilow never wanted to record the song either, but his producer, Clive Davis, insisted. Yes, the song is included here, was the first release off the album, and became their 12th number one hit on the U.K. charts. But there are far more interesting goings on on the album, starting with "Hey Whatever," which is unconventional pop, trendy but hypnotic and declarative in its shun-the-world-and-find-your-bliss message. It's not exactly preaching the gospel, but it's as joyous as a lively black church service, with music that might inspire pew evacuation in favor of dancing in the aisles. The title track and "Thank You" follow in a similar, but less provocative, upbeat vein. Their surprising cover choice of Mr. Big's classic "To Be with You" lacks testosterone compared to its original, but it's nevertheless adequate. The rest of the tracks teeter between softer pop and ballads, of which "Obvious" stands out, with backing vocals that sound either wistful or magical, depending on the listener's mood. Diane Warren contributes a selection, as does Christian songwriting team Tommy Sims and Wayne Kirkpatrick, who have worked closely with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, but have written here a secular and soulful R&B ballad, requiring voice keys to rise higher than has been heard from Westlife before. Turnaround should have pushed for a 180 degree turn; it made it about 90 degrees, and that's 90 degrees none too shabby.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/20/2004
Label: Sony Bmg Europe
UPC: 0828765776820
catalogNumber: 657768

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Westlife   Primary Artist
Mae McKenna   Background Vocals
Guy Barker   Trumpet
Paul Gendler   Guitar
Henrik Janson   Conductor
Brett Morgan   Drums
Steve Pearce   Bass,Bass Guitar
Frank Ricotti   Percussion
Ralph Salmins   Drums
Philip Todd   Saxophone
Dave Arch   Piano,Hammond Organ
Esbjörn Öhrwall   Guitar
Anders Von Hofsten   Background Vocals
Steve Mac   Piano,Keyboards
Andreas Carlsson   Background Vocals
Fredrik Karlsson   Guitar
Wayne Hector   Choir, Chorus
Ulf Jansson   Conductor
Chris Laws   Drums
Nick Jarl   Keyboards
Tuff Singers   Choir, Chorus
Jocke Bergström   Background Vocals
Emil Heiling   Background Vocals
Stefan Jernsthal   Piano
David Stenmarck   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Stockholm Session Strings   Track Performer
Jan Bengtson   Flute
Ian Thomas   Drums

Technical Credits

Richard Kerr   Composer
Scott English   Composer
Henrik Janson   Arranger
Robin Sellars   Engineer,Drum Engineering
Diane Warren   Composer
Gavyn Wright   String Conductor
Dave Arch   String Arrangements
E. Martin   Composer
Lee McCutcheon   Engineer
Jacob Schulze   Producer
Steve Mac   Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements
Andreas Carlsson   Composer
Ian Agate   Engineer
Wayne Hector   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Ulf Jansson   Arranger
Chris Laws   Engineer,Pro-Tools
Daniel Pursey   Engineer
David Grahame   Composer
Nick Jarl   Composer,Programming,Producer
Josef Larossi   Programming,Instrumentation
Janson & Janson   Arranger
David Stenmarck   Programming,Producer
Steve Price   Engineer
Wil Malone   String Arrangements

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