The events of the last few weeks suggest that, to put it kindly, Brian McFadden isn't the brightest light on the Christmas tree. But give him credit - at least he's decided to stop being a boyband muppet and started writing songs that actually express something of his true personality. Irish Son is clearly his attempt to 'to a Robbie', and the presence of Williams's songwriter Guy Chambers ensures that there's plenty of decent tunes here. The problem is that McFadden lacks Robbie's boyish charm, while his relentlessly gruff voice makes him sound rather closer to Bryan Adams. And while the songs about his breakup with Kerry are certainly interesting, the childish, whiny tone doesn't exactly make you feel much sympathy for his plight. So, this patchy album will probably not be the launchpad to the glorious solo career that McFadden desperately wants. But is it better than Westlife? Absolutely.