So far the Westlife story has developed with the inevitability of a steamroller, flattening any critical outrage with the band's innocuous personalities and relentless commercial success. Their legion of fans will be heartened to know that by boyband standards World of Our Own is a remarkably lavish and extravagant affair, suggesting that Shane and Nicky's much-trumpeted solo careers are a few years off just yet. The songs stick relentlessly to the tried and tested formula, the only mystery being why Westlife record so many glossy, saccharine ballads when they're actually much more adept at uptempo R'n'B numbers. At twenty songs, this is one album that certainly can't be accused of being bad value for money - but it would be a hardy soul who consumed such a large dose of musical syrup in one go. Whether you like it or not, the soundtrack of Christmas 2001.
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