Back to ‘Life, back to reality. The charts’ burst of Autumnal energy fades, the novelties and classics depart, and it’s a return to business very much as usual, the first single from Westlife’s third LP. “Queen Of My Heart” sounded to me like the ur-Westlife song from when I first heard it, a merciless tramp through the now-established formula. It flirts with the sombre, at first – can this be the Westlife track where the boys are actually going to break up with their long-suffering lady? Not a bit of it: though this is a more muddled Westlife lyric than many, the initial finality turns into a very temporary break.
For those of you with less abiding interest in the Westlife catalogue, this is the one that breaks out the pipes for a nod to “Mull Of Kintyre” (mercifully its commercial legs were shorter) and, towards the end, swipes the clanging chimes of “Stay Another Day”. Neither borrowing helps the song. More tenuous sources of interest include the video: the boys offer much assurance that the memory of our love will be undying till we meet once more, protestations subtly undermined when the band are suddenly surrounded by a hundred young, partying women. And you can get some final slender enjoyment by imagining “all of these tears will be lost in the rain” as a Blade Runner reference. I’ve had hits you people wouldn’t believe. Key changes on fire at the Record of The Year awards. Stools glittering in the dark at Ashton Gate. All these singles will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
But not quite yet.