Thursday, December 3, 2015

WESTLIFE-Coast To Coast [European Special Edition] (2000)


Speaking of recycling..... I've finally gotten around to doing a major clean-up of my WESTLIFE collection earlier this morning, and in the process of getting everything all nice and neat and—my favorite word—organized, I decided to dig up another one of this Irish boyband's earliest albums, having promised myself for literally months that I'd renew my listening to their music. There's so many different versions of "Coast To Coast" out there, each containing alternate track-listings as well as various additional mixes and special bonus tracks. The 'European Special Edition' that had been gifted to me by a special friend is about as complete as you can get, having a whopping twenty-one tracks compared to the sixteen, eighteen or nineteen on the other respective releases. And of course, the music completist—and boyband completist—in both of us took care in ensuring that there are at least a few tracks from the rarest versions; wouldn't have been complete without them. It had been quite a long time—maybe more than a decade?—since I navigated the waves of "Coast To Coast" before today, and besides that, I still consider WESTLIFE to be among the more popular and commercially successful boyband acts from the late 90's/early 2000's whose music I hadn't taken a whole lot of time to get into. How that happened I'm not sure, but I knew there would be a bunch of songs here that I wouldn't recognize. There are some truly unforgettable ones that I remember as if it were yesterday: their beautiful ballad, "Soledad", plus "Puzzle Of My Heart" and their sublime covering of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl". And a song I'll never forget either: the Phil Collins 1984 hit, "Against All Odds", also superbly covered by this Irish bunch and featuring guest vocals by pop/r&b princess Mariah Carey. Though I had completely forgotten they'd also done a remarkable reworking of THE TEMPTATIONS Motown classic, "My Girl". I just may have enjoyed my very first listen to my new-found jewel in this old treasure chest of pop gems: "I Have A Dream". Behind the meaningful lyrics and the lush vocals of the WESTLIFE guys is the haunting supporting vocals of the children in the background, which truly turns this one into an epic performance. While it may not be one of their major chart-toppers, I found "Dreams Come True" to be a hit with me, digging that tight,, mid-90's style production that you hear in a lot of these mid-tempo boyband pop jams. It's often these simple, catchy ones that form the bread and butter of my boyband listening experience. My latest 'Music Surprise of The Day" had to be when my ears took in the final two tracks on this proper special edition: "En Ti Deje Mi Amor" and "Con Lo Bien Que Te Ves", the Spanish interpretations of "I Lay My Love On You" and "When You're Looking Like That", respectively. Had absolutely no idea whatsoever that these guys performed any of their songs in my favorite foreign language! It sure was nice to hear the refreshing voices of Shane Filan and Markus Feehily and company again, but seeing as it felt like I virtually 'coasted' through this album after so many years, I'm pretty sure I'll be setting sail wth"Coast To Coast" again and dropping my anchor with this Irish bunch in the not-so-distant future:

1. My Love [Radio Edit]
2. What Makes A Man
3. I Lay My Love On You [Single Remix]
4. Against All Odds [feat. Mariah Carey]
5. When You're Looking Like That [Single Remix]
6. Close
7. Somebody Needs You
8. Angel's Wings
9. Soledad
10. Puzzle Of My Heart
11. Dreams Come True
12. No Place That Far
13. You Make Me Feel
14. Loneliness Knows Me By Name
15. Fragile Heart
16. Every Little Thing You Do
17. Uptown Girl [Radio Edit]
18. I Have A Dream [Single Remix]
19. My Girl
20. En Ti Deje Mi Amor
21. Con Lo Bien Que Te Ves

*****BONUS TRACKS*****

22. Close Your Eyes
23. If I Let You Go [USA Mix]
24. Nothing Is Impossible

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