Album Review: Shane Filan – You And Me
Shane Filan has spent the last 14 years fronting one of the most successful boy bands of our time. Westlife enjoyed an extremely lucrative career that seen the fivesome-turned-foursome sell in excess of 50 million record, celebrate numerous number one singles, 14 in fact, duet with some of the biggest names in the business including pop icon Mariah Carey, and sell out Arena’s throughout Europe from their first tour right through to their disbandment last year. Leaving such a legacy behind must place a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Filan who this week releases his highly anticipated debut solo album, You And Me.
We have already been teased with a couple of singles from the album in the shape of Everything To Me and the recently released sophomore track, About You. Both tracks open You And Me and are beautifully sculptured and summery intros to Shane’s new venture as a solo artist. Both tracks prove to be a healthy step away from his former boy-band material while still containing elements of his pop past which will help the star retain his existing fan-base who know him as a Westlife hit-maker. About You is a particularly touching inclusion as Shane delivers a poetic love letter to a special someone, telling the lucky lady “don’t ever feel worthless, just know that your perfect and I’d change the world before I change a thing about you” in the tracks hook drenched chorus. Ah, to be that lucky someone, right?
Shane spent a large part of the recording of You And Me in Nashville and that is something you can hear throughout the track-listing with a country inspired vein running throughout the record. Knee Deep In My Heart is one of the tracks soaked in Americana twang and showcasing the singers pursuit to perhaps engage a U.S fan-base.
Shane delivers a Hawaiian scented pop gem with One of these Days which is delivered through a string of up-tempo hooks and an island coated guitar rhythm while the following Everytime pulls together some folk influenced guitar-work as anthemic vocals run freely throughout the songs infectious unfurling. This track is one of the albums highlights as it sits contrasting within the rest of the records predominant country/pop pennings. When I Met You is almost like a continuation of this Hawaiian style for Shane as he indulges once again in Island influenced melodies. A violin also makes a brief appearance in the chorus and mid-section of the track giving it a slight folk kick.
With a mainly acoustic foundation holding You And Me together, it is a nice step away from his roots in boy-band pop where he has spent the majority of his career and this track-listing shows that Shane Filan is no one trick pony. His voice suits the new genres where his dips his toes on You & Me but then again, a voice like his could suit just about any genre with ease.
Closing the record is the gorgeous title track. Here we are on familiar territory with Shane delivering a sentimental piano-led outro to the record. Lyrics like ‘this life would mean nothing without you’ that are sung over the top of a complimenting cello make this track a gorgeous closing ballad to Shane’s debut.
You And Me is a stunning debut from one of pops most promising new solo artists. He knows his way around a chart worthy pop hit, there is no denying that, but with this new record, enveloping a range of new genres from Country to Island pop and singer-songwriter, Shane Filan might just be able to finally appeal to the masses outside of his native European stomping ground. Recording the album in Nashville was a wise move for the singer and he presents this solo debut with confidence and splendour.