Embrace were once considered to be potential rivals to Oasis in the world domination stakes, yet somehow their epic rock ballads have never made quite the impact the band have boasted about in interviews. Their third album is hardly a radical departure, being made up of lengthy, intense torch songs with not a single rocker in sight. The sense of ambition that permeates If You've Never Been is laudable but the sad truth is that Danny McNamara simply doesn't have a very distinctive voice; nor do his lyrics do justice to the blustering guitars and sweeping arrangements. Full marks for effort, but no nearer greatness than before.