Gravity (Westlife album)

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Gravity
Studio album by Westlife
Released 22 November 2010
(See Release History)
Recorded July - October 2010;
Henson Recording Studios
(Hollywood, Los Angeles)
RAK Studios
(St John's Wood, London)
Genre Pop, pop rock, dance-pop
Length 48:05
Label Syco, Sony, RCA
Producer John Shanks
Westlife chronology
Where We Are
(2009)
Gravity
(2010)
Greatest Hits
(2011)
Singles from Gravity
  1. "Safe"
    Released: 14 November 2010
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Сontactmusic (favorable)[1]
Daily Express 3/5 stars[2]
Daily Star (favorable)[3]
Entertainment Focus (favorable)[4]
Entertainment.ie 2/5 stars[5]
Expessen 2/5 stars[6]
Financial Times 2/5 stars[7]
Funky 4/5 stars[8]
Jacaranda FM 8/10 stars[9]
M&VT 1/5 stars[10]
OK! Magazine 4/5 stars[11]
Urban Wire 3.5/5 stars[11]

Gravity is the tenth and final studio album by the Irish pop band Westlife. It was released on 22 November 2010 in the United Kingdom. John Shanks produced each song, barring the bonus track on the Japanese edition. The album was preceded by the lead single, "Safe", which was released at 14 November 2010. This is also the group's final album under Syco Music; Syco decided that there will be no second single from the album, which was one reason the group left Syco in March 2011. As of November 2011, the album had sold 358,943 in the UK.[12]

Background, concept, and development[edit]

On 19 July 2010, it was reported by RTÉ that the group will be teaming up with Shanks. A Westlife insider said: "It's a major coup for Westlife to get this producer - he's produced all the big acts from Bon Jovi to the Backstreet Boys and Take That. "They wanted him for their last album but weren't able to get him. They're thrilled that he's agreed to work with them on this album."[13] It also stated that the recording process started in July 2010. The band also confirmed the album's recording and mixing was finished in October 2010. They recorded the songs in Los Angeles, California, Dublin, Ireland, and London, England. On 17 September 2010, Egan flashed that the first single for the album was already picked by Cowell and a 30-second snippet was played on X Factor UK.[14] Afterwards, Feehily initiated the #westlife11album and #westlifeSAFE as a trending topic on Twitter which was followed by others worldwide to be a top trending topic.[15]

The album was released on 15 November 2010.[16] In addition, Egan fully expressed what he felt on during recording Gravity: "It’s hard to believe this is our 11th album but performing is our passion and it would seem like throwing it all away if we stopped."“Both us and Take That go for epic pop songs but them taking Robbie back hasn’t made us think about Brian McFadden returning. It would feel odd to have a fifth person back on stage with us".[17] In addition Westlife told Digital Spy: "We'd wanted to work with him for a long time, but all his loyalty was to Take That and he didn't want to work with another boyband," "We'd been asking him and asking, but literally within moments of Take That deciding to go and work with Stuart Price, he said yes to us straight away. Afterwards he said he'd wanted to work with us for a long time, but he just couldn't do the Take That thing and the Westlife thing because they were too close." "John created a sound for us in the same way he created a sound for Take That, a sound for Bon Jovi and a sound for all the other incredible artists he's worked with," "He created a sound for Westlife that we haven't had before - it's not a massive departure, but it's definitely a step up in terms of production." Filan also revealed that the group is currently in the process of selecting 12 or 13 songs for the album's final tracklisting from a pool of 16, with all but "one or two" likely to be originals.[18] In 22 October 2010, Shanks stated that they have finished the Westlife record, all approved by Cowell.[19] Shanks stated that the album ended up with two covers in it.[20] In 27 October 2010, the album main release date was changed to 22 November 2010.[21] In 25 October 2010, Feehily unveiled the final tracklisting on his official Twitter page as follows:[22][23] On 1 November 2010, Mark confirmed the two cover songs on the album are, "Chances" by Athlete and "The Reason" by Hoobastank. In the November 2010 issue of Hello Magazine they told them about their competition with Take That and Walsh and Cowell's involvement in the album, "You need competition to keep you on your toes".

On 2 November 2010, the 30 second snippet of each songs from the album were posted on Amazon.co.uk.[24] On 5 November 2010, In Demand FM played exclusively the full track of "Beautiful Tonight" with an interview of the band. On 7 November 2010, they performed "I Will Reach You" on BBC Radio 2.[25] On 14 November 2010, RTÉ 2fm exclusively played "I Will Reach You", "The Reason", and "I Get Weak" from the album for the first time worldwide.

In an interview with AOL Music UK, Westlife described the creative process of the album as "breath of fresh air". "It's a new beginning for Westlife" is how singer Shane Filan described working with legendary pop producer John Shanks.[26]

Album name and artwork[edit]

The album cover was first displayed on the music record sites as "Westlife" with black background and white-colored lettering. In 22 October 2010, they released an exclusive video of the album photo shoot to the press and on their official sites.[27] The official photographer of the shoot was Kevin McDaid and Feehily as the creative director.[28] They decided to go for a chic black and white design and in the pics, the band are all dressed down in jeans and t-shirts. "Mark, Kian, Nicky and Shane stand separately in a line facing the camera on the Gravity front cover, with Shane leaning cheekily on Nicky's shoulder,"[29]

On 13 October 2010, they announced the album title Gravity and trended worldwide on Twitter as #westlifegravity after the announcement.[30] Band member Mark Feehily adopted the album title suggested by a fan and confirmed it on his Twitter account first.[31] Redcorvette09 or Fiona Reynoldson, the chosen fan explains

"Gravity" from the Safe lyrics. Maybe it's a dedication to your partners and how they've kept you grounded...or maybe about the music always drawing you back in for another album! Could have several meanings."[32][33]

Egan said to the press people that the band will give something special to the chosen fan but it was yet undecided.

Promotion[edit]

Main article: Safe, Gravity Tour

Schedule[edit]

Date Country Venue Notes
Promo Tour
25 October 2010; 11:00 111 Broad Street, Birmingham Heart FM Pre-recorded interview for Heart Breakfast
25 October 2010; 11:00 4 Oozells Square, Birmingham BRMB Pre-recorded interviews for BRMB Breakfast Show, Mercia Breakfast, Wyvern Breakfast, Beacon Breakfast and Heart Nottingham
25 October 2010; 15:30 Stoke Road, Stoke-On-Trent Signal Radio Pre-recorded interviews for UTV Network and The Wave (Swansea)
26 October 2010; 07:50 Castlefield Quay, Manchester Key 103 Live interviews with Key 103 (08.00) and Radio City (09.00) and pre-recorded interviews for Aire FM, Viking FM, Rock FM and Hallam FM
26 October 2010; 10:50 Waterfront Quay, Salford Real Radio Pre-recorded interview for Real Breakfast Show, Real Radio Wales, Real Radio NE, Real Radio Yorkshire, Network Special and Networked Evening Show
26 October 2010; 15:00 Castlefield Quay, Manchester Key 103 Pre-recorded In Demand Special - Westlife on Westlife
27 October 2010; 10:00 Forth Road, Edinburgh Radio Forth Pre-recorded interview for Radio Forth Breakfast Show
27 October 2010; 12:00 Glasgow Business Park, Glasgow Real Radio Live interview for Real Radio
27 October 2010; 14:45 Clydebank Business Park, Glasgow Radio Clyde Pre-recorded interview for in Demand (networked evening show)
27 October 2010; 16:00 Pacific Quay, Glasgow STV Live interview with The Hour Show
5 November 2010 England In:Demand FM
6 November 2010 England The Crush on 4Music
7 November 2010 England Weekend Wogan
8 November 2010 England Pride of Britain Awards
9 November 2010 England Daybreak
11 November 2010 England The Crush on Channel 4
14 November 2010 London, England The X Factor Exclusive performance of "Safe"
14 November 2010 London, England The Xtra Factor
15 November 2010 London, England Lorraine
17 November 2010 London, England The Alan Titchmarsh Show
19 November 2010 Belfast, Northern Ireland Children in Need
3 December 2010 Dublin, Republic of Ireland The Late Late Show
18 December 2010 Dublin, Republic of Ireland Childline

Singles[edit]

"Safe" was the lead single from the album, released on 14 November in the UK. Their debut performance of the track was on the X Factor the day or release. It peaked at No. 10 in its first week consequently making it their lowest charting lead single to date in the UK, as well as their lowest sales for a lead single.

"Beautiful Tonight" was confirmed as the follow-up single on the third week of January through the Daily Star. The release date is yet to be announced. They stated, "You can imagine our next single Beautiful Tonight being played in a club. Yes, it’s that different to what we usually release. John Shanks wrote it and it’s up-tempo and will open a few eyes and ears. People who don’t usually like Westlife might like it and hopefully people who do like us won’t not like it. It’s young, fresh and exciting so we feel brilliant about it coming out. When they first hear it, some people might go: "Whoa, who is that?” and that’s why we wanted it as our first song on the album. It’d be cool to get a couple of good dance remixes off it but we won’t be coming up with a dance routine for it on tour, except for maybe a few clicks and putting one foot in front of the other. The song reminds us of the early days when we put out "World of Our Own".[34] The song was performed live on Irish national television show Paul O'Grady Show. After that, the track peaked at the top 40 of Irish Radio Airplay Chart.

It was later confirmed on 1 February 2011 that there will be no second single for Gravity. Byrne stated that it was out of the band's hands and it was a Syco's decision.[35] On 14 March 2011, Westlife confirmed that they had left Syco Music with the group citing the decision not to release a second single as the reason.[36] Despite cancelled single, "I Will Reach You" was released as a follow-up promotional radio single in April 2011 on some of the radio stations in Indonesia, Ireland and the Philippines where it charted and went to No. 1 on a radio station in the Philippines.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Beautiful Tonight"   John Shanks, Paul Barry Shanks 4:00
2. "Safe"   Shanks, James Grundler Shanks 3:53
3. "Chances"   Joel Pott, Carey Willetts, Steven Roberts, Timothy Wanstall Shanks 4:46
4. "I Will Reach You"   Mark Feehily, Steve Anderson, Jamie Hartman Shanks 3:21
5. "Closer"   Shanks, John Reid, Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Feehily, Shane Filan Shanks 4:06
6. "The Reason"   Douglas Robb, Dan Estrin, Chris Hesse, Markku Lappalainen Shanks 3:54
7. "Tell Me It's Love"   Shanks, Wayne Hector Shanks 4:18
8. "I Get Weak"   Shanks, Savan Kotecha Shanks 3:42
9. "Before It's Too Late"   Anderson, Feehily, Simon Petty Shanks 4:09
10. "No One's Gonna Sleep Tonight"   Shanks, Hector Shanks 3:53
11. "Difference in Me"   Shanks, Hector Shanks 3:29
12. "Too Hard To Say Goodbye"   Shanks, Byrne, Egan, Feehily, Filan Shanks 4:44
Total length:
48:05
Japanese bonus track[37]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "Please Stay"   Burt Bacharach, Bob Hilliard Steve Anderson 3:43
German bonus track[38]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "Safe (Music video)"   Grundler, Shanks Shanks 3:59

Other credits[edit]

  • Art Direction [Creative Direction] – Mark Feehily
  • Contractor [Musician], Coordinator [Production] – Shari Sutcliffe
  • Design – Steve Stacey
  • Management – Louis Walsh Management
  • Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
  • Photography – Kevin McDaid

Lead Vocals[edit]

01. Beautiful Tonight - Shane, Mark

02. Safe - Shane, Mark

03. Chances - Shane, Mark

04. I Will Reach You - Shane, Mark

05. Closer - Shane, Mark

06. The Reason - Shane, Mark

07. Tell Me it's Love - Shane, Mark, Nicky

08. I Get Weak - Shane, Kian, Mark

09. Before It's Too Late - Mark

10. No one's Gonna Sleep Tonight - Shane, Mark

11. Difference in Me - Shane

12. Too Hard To Say Goodbye - Kian, Shane, Mark, Nicky,

13. Please Stay - Nicky, Shane, Mark, Kian

Chart performance[edit]

In a November 2010 interview with Daily Star, Westlife have already admitted defeat in their chart battle with JLS. Kian admitted: "I don’t think we’re going to win against JLS to be honest – they’re probably going to get the No.1. "But we’re not really bothered about chart positions. "We rate the success of an album on the overall sales". Ironically JLS also lost the chart battle, with Take That's second week sales of Progress enough to keep them at number one on the UK Charts.