WHILE joshing with the Westlife boys, Al Murray poured praise on the Irish band’s songbook, stating that Westlife’s songs were so good that all the greats had also covered their songs, such as Bill Joel, Barry Manilow, ABBA and Cliff Richard.

The Pub Landlord’s observations were very naughty, but also rather accurate. However, breaking with tradition, Where We Are is an album of all original new songs. Well, new songs at least – originality hardly springs to mind. But Westlife have always been more concerned with perfect presentation of pretty songs.

For many, a new album of Westlife material is akin to purgatory, but the converted will find another polished, well produced album of good solid songs, well sung. Indeed, compared to earlier albums, you can tell that all four Westlife boys have undergone extensive vocal training. In many ways, Where We Are is like a new set by Il Divo.

• Westlife play Sheffield Arena on May 9 and 10.