Slagging off a Westlife album is not just like shooting fish in a barrel; it's like shooting giant, dead fish in a small, lunchbox-sized container. There's some snide satisfaction to be had by belittling the soporific stylings of the Sligo quartet, a satisfaction that's as inherent to any serious muso as a dismissal of Stereophonics or post-Bernard Butler Suede. Easy as it may be, though, the 'Life appear to be fair game, as every year for the past eight years, the popsters have foisted album after album of mediocre, stool-roosting, meaningless ballads upon anyone with a set of functioning ears. Back Home is their ninth record of songs written by other people, and amazingly, only contains three cover versions: Michael Buble's 'Home', Brandy's 'Have You Ever' and Lonestar's 'I'm Already There' (seriously), all of which are diabolically mundane. Westlife have a niche, y'see, and they're darned if they're going to be shaken uncomfortably from the 'slow opening/poignant pause/raise the key for final third/epic, brow-furrowingly sincere closing line' prototype that they've perfected over the years. 99.99% of material here is frustratingly bad, lazily-written pop, over which Mark Feehily's soulful warble or Shane Filan's nasal, breathy shudder cast themselves. Of course, as long as there are teenage girls with money and hormones, there'll always be a market for teenybopper boybands - it's just a shame that the past decade has seen a sharp decline in their quality. Let's sincerely hope that Westlife call it a day after their tenth album, because on this evidence, they've run out of ideas/songs/souls to butcher.Complete and utter shite.