Where We Are

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This article is about the Westlife album. For the One Direction concert film, see One Direction. For other uses, see Where We Are Tour (disambiguation).
Where We Are
Studio album by Westlife
Released 27 November 2009
(See Release History)
Recorded July - October 2009
Genre Pop, pop rock
Length 52:05
Label S, RCA, Sony Music
Producer Ryan Tedder, Steve Robson, Jim Jonsin, Greg Wells, Emanuel Kiriakou, Louis Biancaniello, Sam Watters, Conner Reeves
Westlife chronology
Back Home
(2007)
Where We Are
(2009)
Gravity
(2010)
Singles from Where We Are
  1. "What About Now"
    Released: 23 October 2009

Where We Are is the ninth studio album and tenth album overall by Irish boy band Westlife. It was released on 27 November 2009 in Ireland and 30 November 2009 in the UK through S Records, RCA Records and Sony Music. Where We Are is the group's first album following a break from music in 2008. The album was preceded by the lead single "What About Now", a cover of the Daughtry song, and was released on 23 October 2009[1] as a digital download a day later as a CD single.[2]

The group collaborated with numerous notable producers for the album, notably Ryan Tedder of the pop rock band OneRepublic, Jim Jonsin, Greg Wells and Sam Watters, among others. Where We Are is also notably the first Westlife album not to have Steve Mac and Wayne Hector produce or write any of the songs.

The album was met with unfavorable reviews, although it was still commercially successful, debuting at number two at the UK Albums Chart. Despite the high peak, it was the first Westlife album not to peak at number one since their 2004 album Allow Us to Be Frank peaked at number three.

Background[edit]

Before Christmas 2008, they wrote a letter to their website saying that 2009 was going to be the most exciting year yet for Westlife. The recording process of their tenth album started on 1 July 2009. Byrne said that there will be many first-time producers and writers for the upcoming album. He also wanted to have collaboration works with Chris Martin of Coldplay who happens to be a big Westlife fan.[3]

Filan talks about the content of the album and stated:

A different direction might be a bit wrong. I think it's still pop music, but there's a different variation on it. One massive thing is we worked with different producers, who we've never worked with before, and new song writers. There are thirteen songs on the album and twelve of them are originals. There's more tempo, more rocky songs, some more American songs, some darker songs on there with darker lyrics. It's the best production we've had on any other album. The strings, the music is just on another level. Even if you're not a Westlife fan but you're a music fan, you will recognise the quality on this album.

On their new biography posted on their official website, it has been added that the recording sessions began in LA, with a completely fresh team of producers and songwriters. The first song they recorded was the ballad, "I’ll See You Again", described as "haunting bereavement".[4] "I'll See You Again" was recorded by Ross at Metropolis Studios.[5] For their first single "What About Now" Feehily told The Daily Mirror, "We wanted the first single from our new album to be somewhere between the Westlife sound our fans know and love, and the new direction we're heading in. We've been experimenting with a fresh vibe on this record. After 11 years we see this as phase two of the Westlife story."[6] The song "Shadows" which has been confirmed to be included on the album was written by Ryan Tedder and AJ McLean for the Backstreet Boys' seventh album This Is Us but was not selected for inclusion. It was subsequently purchased by record label boss Simon Cowell for Leona Lewis's second album Echo but it was later decided that the song was more suited to a boyband and thus given Westlife to record.[7]

The album also contains an "in memory of" section to Nikki Bryne and Kevin Egan, the fathers of Westlife members Nicky Byrne and Kian Egan, who both died in 2009 during the making of Where We Are.

Promotion[edit]

On 25 October 2009, during the X Factor results show, Westlife performed "What About Now". It was released online the same day.[8] On 26 October they performed on GMTV and were interviewed in addition to hosting a webchat, with a further interview on The One Show on 30 October 2009.[9] They will also perform at BBC Children in Need on 20 November and be interviewed on 26 November and 4 December on Alan Carr's Chatty Man and The Friday Show respectively.[9] They are also doing radio promos in major cities of UK and Ireland from 24 October - November including an interview on BBC Radio One.[10] TV dates were announced later.[11][12] Following a Swedish promotional tour with performance on Swedish Idol.[13] On 27 November 2009, Westlife performed on infamous UK television shows like Paul O' Grady Show and The Late Late Toy Show.[14]

On 1 February 2010, their official website was revised. They called it as a first phase of 2010 assault.[15] On 10 February 2010, they are invited to Jonathan Ross show for an interview to be televised on 12 February 2010.[16]

First week of February, they embarked on a promotional tour of Germany and guested on the Oliver Pocher Show on the third week of February.[17] They got the chance to perform with Boyzone for a track on the Stephen Gately Show in Ireland.[18] They opened the ceremony on News of the World Children's Champion Awards.[19] They are invited to perform on Sun City Super Bowl Show on South Africa to be held on 19 March and Fashion Kicks 2010 on 13 April.[20][21]

Supporting tour[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic
Rovi Music
3.5/5 stars[22][23]
BBC Music (favorable)[24]
Daily Express 2/5 stars[25]
Digital Spy 1/5 stars[26]
Entertainment Ireland 2/5 stars[27]
London Evening Standard 2/5 stars[28]
MSN UK 2/5 stars[29]
The Observer (unfavorable)[30]
Virgin Media 1/5 stars[31]

Where We Are received mostly unfavorable reviews, with most reviewers criticizing the album's similar music style, as well as the fact that there is little difference from their previous material.

Robert Spellman of Daily Express gave the album two stars out of five, saying that "all the songs sound alike and deal with heartbreak."[25] Lauren Murphy of Entertainment Ireland gave a similar score, stating that "as maudlin and one-dimensional as any of their recent material", although she praised Feehily's vocals.[27] Rick Pearson of London Evening Standard called the album's songs "bland" and "uninspiring", concluding that "Where We Are finds Westlife exactly where they were at the beginning of the decade."[28] Ben Chalk of MSN UK stated that the album is "aimed squarely at the sort of person who buys one album a year, usually at Christmas, to listen to in the car."[29] Hugh Montgomery of The Observer criticized the album's "usual...over-production, ersatz yearning and (anti-)climactic key changes."[30] Alex Fletcher of Digital Spy panned Where We Are, saying that "there isn't a drop of passion, genuine emotion or soul to be found anywhere."[26] Ian Gittins of Virgin Media gave the album one star out of five, saying that "The only emotion...is a sinking sense of déjà vu."[31]

Jason Birchmeier of Allmusic and Rovi Music gave the album three and a half stars out of five, noting the group's usual musical structure, although he praised the album for containing "many first-rate songs...and the production is polished to perfection."[22][23] Mike Diver of BBC Music gave Where We Are a favorable review, referring to many "surprises" contained within the album, although he notes that "their style has barely changed."[24]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "What About Now"   David Hodges, Ben Moody, Joshua Hartzler Steve Robson 4:11
2. "How to Break a Heart"   James Scheffer, Louis Biancaniello, Sam Watters Biancaniello, Jim Jonsin, Watters 4:04
3. "Leaving"   Carl Falk, Bryn Christopher, Steven Lee Olsen Biancaniello, Watters, Quiz & Larossi[a] 3:57
4. "Shadows"   Ryan Tedder, Alexander McLean Tedder 4:01
5. "Talk Me Down"   Simon Petty Steve Anderson 4:01
6. "Where We Are"   Tedder, Savan Kotecha Tedder 3:57
7. "The Difference"   Scott Cutler, Anne Preven, Brian Kennedy Seals Cutler, Preven, Kennedy Seals 3:30
8. "As Love is My Witness"   Connor Reeves, Jonathan Shorten Martin Terefe 4:07
9. "Another World"   Steve Booker, Sophie Delila Booker 3:16
10. "No More Heroes"   Kotecha, Emanuel Kiriakou, Lindy Robbins Kiriakou 3:58
11. "Sound of a Broken Heart"   Wayne Wilkins, Biancaniello, Watters, John Reid Biancaniello, Watters, Wilkins 3:51
12. "Reach Out"   Mark Feehily, Shaznay Lewis, Chris Braide Greg Wells 3:56
13. "I'll See You Again"   Andy Hill, Shelly Poole Kiriakou, Hill[a] 5:17
Notes
  • "What About Now" was not included in Czech Republic and Slovakia track listing[32]

Chart performance[edit]

Country Peak
position
Certificates
Austria[33] 53
Germany[34] 42
Greece[35] 9
Ireland[36] 2 3× Platinum[37]
Japan[38] 77
Mexico[39] 71
New Zealand[40] 13 Gold[41]
South Korea[42] 3
Sweden[43] 8 Gold[44][45]
Switzerland[46] 25
United Kingdom[47] 2 2xPlatinum[48]

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
Irish Albums Chart 8

Release history[edit]

Country / Region Date Format Label Catalogue
Ireland 27 November 2009 CD, Digital download RCA Records 88697611272
Philippines 28 November 2009 Sony Music Entertainment
New Zealand 30 November 2009
Norway[49]
South Africa[50]
United Kingdom[51] S/Syco Music
Hong Kong[52] Sony Music Entertainment
South Korea[53] 1 December 2009
Europe[54] 2 December 2009
Finland[55]
Malaysia[56]
Sweden[57]
Netherlands[58] 3 December 2009 Sony Music
Taiwan 4 December 2009
France[59] 8 December 2009 B002RHP88S
Japan[60] 23 December 2009 Sony Music Japan SICP2509
Thailand[61] 21 January 2010 Sony Music 88697611272
Australia[62] 22 January 2010
China[63] 25 January 2010
Austria[64] 5 February 2010
Germany[65]
Switzerland[66]
Mexico[67] 15 March 2010 886976112721
Czech Republic[68] 5 April 2010 289173
Slovakia[69]

Credits[edit]

Source: Allmusic.com[70]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "What About Now: Westlife: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
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