As my Twitter feed suggests, I’m routinely going through kind of a big boy band phase. It started in high school… judge me as you see fit. I’m not sorry.
In a fit of late night Googling, I came across the late 1990s, Irish boy band Westlife (just like my Take That fixation, I’m not sure how I missed this the first time around). I’ve spent some time focusing on the other members, it’s time for me to spotlight the talented (and oh, so adorable) lead singer Markus Feehily. Don’t worry, Shane will have his due.
It took a while to release his debut album (Westlife called it quits in 2012), but Markus Feehily’s 2015 album release ‘Fire’ really demonstrates his rapidly developing strength as a solo artist. The album, which can be best described as a fusion of pop and R&B is catchy and well executed. Definitely a must listen, if your music taste is anything like mine.
The album has been out for just under a year, and had been chugging along steadily. According to various sources, ‘Fire’ reached #2 on the Irish charts, and cracked the top 30 on the UK charts.
It really is the little album that could. ‘Love is a Drug’ and ‘Butterfly’ are the two singles (and are the definite standouts) which have been released from the album. Feehily makes tremendous use of his incredibly strong vocal range, which he put on display on many hits during the Westlife years. He’s a powerful, versatile singer, definitely a standout when looking through a number of his contemporaries. If you are unfamiliar, Westlife’s cover of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ is a personal favorite of this writer.
Looking at the track listing in “Fire”, Feehily is credited as the primary writer on each of the songs. Westlife is not primarily known for writing their own songs. Many of their early albums are filled with covers of popular songs like ‘My Girl’, ‘I Have a Dream’ and ‘Uptown Girl.” By contrast, listening to ‘Fire,’ lyrics seem to come come from a deeper, more emotional place than the poppy ballads of his past:
Wish I would have known when enough was enough/ Need something for the pain but the killer is us/And it keeps on pulling me when I wanna get up/You keep kicking me while you’re holding me down
There has been a lot written about Feehilys career, and how that played in with his personal life, especially during his boyband years during the close of the 90s and into the 00s. As he’s matured as a writer and performer, he’s been able to bring this layered complexity to his musical persona.
The strength, and the power evident in the tracks of Markus Feehily’s debut album ‘Fire’ shows just how the former boy-bander has grown as an artist in the years since Westlife broke up in 2012. The power of the album definitely pulled me in as a fan, and I’m very excited to see what’s next for the growing musician.
US readers, the album is readily available through a plethora of US sources including iTunes, Amazon and Apple Music.