Jan 17

WESTLIFE – “World Of Our Own”

Popular26 comments • 3,030 views

#921, 2nd March 2002

westlifewoto It’s taken them until their 10th number one, but Westlife finally bring us an original uptempo song. Within the band’s corpus “World Of Our Own” is a break from the norm, with half-hearted ‘party’ noises under the intro acting as cues for the lads to rise up from the stools and shake a tailfeather. On anyone else’s terms it’s reliable workhorses Steve Mac and Wayne Hector trying to write a Gregg Alexander song. The string of emphases on the bridge – “Took! For! Granted!” – feels particularly like a stab at New Radicals style euphoric lift-off, but Westlife is not a rollercoaster. It’s barely even a teacup ride. The chorus bumps repetitively along, its sing-song melody irritating before the first pass is even through. And the scenario is a standard Westlife one – our hero has strayed but regrets it and realises real happiness lies with the comforts of home. A decent metaphor for this mildest of experimental moves, then, which ends with the inevitable – and reassuring – key change.



  1. 1
    Ed on 4 Jan 2017 #

    I can see why this one took a while! ;)

    Is it just me, or was 2002-04 the all-time nadir of UK number ones, and possibly of the singles chart in general? From about 2005 on, things start looking a lot brighter. But we have a way to go yet.

    (That said, there is an absolute belter coming up…)

  2. 2
    Auntie Beryl on 4 Jan 2017 #

    Welcome back! Going on last year’s additions to the to do list, an entry a month will get you closer to your destination.

    I’d go a 4 on this one – it is at least an uptempo surrounded by ballads, and one that (very faint praise alert) Boyzone would have handled about as well.

  3. 3
    Pink champale on 4 Jan 2017 #

    @1 No way! In my head at least 2002 – 2005 was the final Golden Age of Pop, with all sorts of flavours of great stuff in the charts. I’m going to be breaking out some tens for the first time since 1985. Er, not for this one though.

  4. 4
    flahr on 4 Jan 2017 #

    Well bah and psh: I like it, not a lot but I like it. The melody for “what am I doing without you” is a delightful little hook and the double-time, jabby hustle of the chorus is energetic. I think it’s the rhythmic variation that sets it apart from the rest of the, er, oeuvre: I am a sucker for pauses in songs and the first one in this song (the one that doesn’t preceed an inevitable key change) is a doozy. Points off for the awful drums and the monotone that Westlife bark the vocals in, but definitely their finest hour: [6].

  5. 5
    thefatgit on 4 Jan 2017 #

    Ah, here we are then. Westlife do something unexpected. They up the tempo and give us something that isn’t immediately reminiscent of marrow stuffed with unseasoned cucumber puree.

    WOOO (!) indeed. And the song? Well, nothing much beyond a bland 2 note chorus. So let’s have a look at the promo…

    Gosh! They don’t really put their pop-chops on the line much beyond walking at the same time towards a static camera in the video. A few instances of bouncing on the balls of their feet and golf swings with a walking cane. A couple of Dobermans on tight leashes. Girl cops with mirror shades? The lads were given Guy Ritchie’s collection of East End gangster overcoats and told to look a bit “street”, which basically translates as moody stares and raised eyebrows here and there. And then for some inexplicable reason post-key change the lads find themselves transported from IRL modern urban landscape to CGI urban landscape, as if this underlines the actual world of their own comprises of cheap rendering software and backlit dry ice.

    Next Directory catalogue meets The Matrix, directed by Guy Ritchie. (2)

  6. 6
    lonepilgrim on 4 Jan 2017 #

    every time I’m prompted by Popular to take the time to listen to another Westlife song I find myself thinking ‘well, that’s not so bad – why do people hate them so?’
    then I realise that this is their tenth Number 1 and I can’t recall a single one of the nine that preceded it other than bland, barked harmonies and…no, that’s it…nothing else. Pure pap for no people

  7. 7
    cryptopian on 5 Jan 2017 #

    At the time, I liked this very much. Light verses, then the prechorus syncopation pushes into the chorus, where we bounce along in a carefree sort of way. It doesn’t do the anything like the same things for me now, but I don’t dislike it either. 5 from me, for being disposable enough not to matter but not entirely dreadful like most of Westlife.

  8. 8
    Phil on 5 Jan 2017 #

    FLAHR read my mind. I don’t mind this at all & actually like bits of it – I’d go to a 6.

  9. 9
    Cumbrian on 5 Jan 2017 #

    I’d agree that this is about the most agreeable that Westlife have been thus far on their long journey through Popular – but this isn’t saying much and isn’t saying that this song is much good. It’s not sung particularly well, especially the chorus, though the song itself is structured quite nicely – would agree with Flahr at #4 in that respect (and, I see, Cryptonian at #7). Key change seems superfluous though – just finish earlier rather than involving an obvious example of Westlife being Westlife.

    It would have been interesting to see how this got on with a better group doing it.

    #2 was Hero falling back. #3 was in In Your Eyes by Kylie Mingoue at its peak chart position. I like that track very much – we’re squarely in Kylie’s imperial phase as far as I am concerned.

  10. 10
    AMZ1981 on 5 Jan 2017 #

    As is normally the case with Westlife the statistics are more interesting than the song, although World Of Our Own is one of the better Westlife singles. As noted it was their tenth number one which made them only the fifth act to break into double figures and only one act has broken through the 10 number ones barrier since.

    The next entry – and do I detect a double review looming – is going to be interesting.

  11. 11
    AMZ1981 on 5 Jan 2017 #

    It could also be noted that Westlife followed this up with another uptempo song. Interestingly it didn’t even come close to being bunnied.

  12. 12
    Matthew on 5 Jan 2017 #

    Very impressed that you lot can find so many words to write about this kind of effort. I can’t even find that many to think about it. It’s like carpets, I don’t mind them being there, but I wouldn’t want to have to blog about them.

  13. 13
    thefatgit on 5 Jan 2017 #

    #11 They even attempt a little dance routine for that one. Steady now, lads!

  14. 14
    Steve Williams on 5 Jan 2017 #

    #11 Surely one of the reasons why Bop Bop Baby, for it was that, failed to make it to number one is because it’s got such a bloody awful name. What does it even mean?!? I honestly think it’s the worst name for any pop song ever written.

  15. 15
    ThePensmith on 5 Jan 2017 #

    As was touched on by myself at “Queen of My Heart”, this was from the period of their career where I actually didn’t mind Westlife. Very New Radicals-esque as Tom points out. “World of Our Own” was if I’m correct in saying as well, the first single of theirs to get any kind of sustained radio airplay beyond its reign at the top. I distinctly remember my local commercial radio station Essex FM – now taken over by Heart – playing it a lot anyway. A solid 7 for me.

    #11 and 14 – not only is “Bop Bop Baby” awfully named, but it came complete with probably one of the worst music videos I’ve ever seen and the point where the final nail was driven into the coffin of Vinnie Jones’ career. It was their first single to fail to debut or peak inside the top 3 and I do remember at that point, along with their first greatest hits being announced for release later that year, that everyone thought we were about to see the back of them. Alas, we were fooled…

    #9 – “In Your Eyes” was indeed one of the best singles from Kylie’s early 00s imperial phase. In fact all the “Fever” singles were pretty flawless.

  16. 16
    Phil on 5 Jan 2017 #

    Just realised that my soft spot for the song may be connected with having sung along to it on SingStar one Christmas, probably already a bit misted-up from Eternal Flame or Winner Takes It All. But what the hell, it stood up to that treatment – and although the obligatory key-change is a dreary surprise when you listen to the song, it’s actually quite fun when you’re karaoke-ing it.

  17. 17
    James BC on 6 Jan 2017 #

    The best Westlife song I know – so good that I heard it a few times before I realised it was them. I thought it was some up-and-coming indie-type chappies.

    It’s hilarious the way that bridge is all on the same note. I make it fifteen of that note in a row, which is My Lovely Horse mk1 territory.

  18. 18
    Phil on 6 Jan 2017 #

    @16 – and that’s a bugger on SingStar, because after the first few you think you must have gone off the tune – then of course when you try to correct, by going up and down a bit, you really do go off the tune.

  19. 19
    Chelovek na lune on 6 Jan 2017 #

    Less drippy than they had become, I suppose. Ouch at the dreadful key change. It’s alright, I suppose. Maybe 5, just.

  20. 20
    Lee Saunders on 7 Jan 2017 #

    This was probably the most tolerable I ever found Westlife to be. That wasn’t to say I really liked it or anything, but at least that while it shared the same production put-offs as their less upbeat ballads, it wasn’t a downbeat ballad. The key change is indeed awkward. 5.

  21. 21
    wichitalineman on 10 Jan 2017 #

    Ah. I’ve heard this many times, but I never realised it was Westlife. As everyone bar Tom has already said… quite serviceable pop R&B and their best to date, a solid 6.

    I’m guessing the repetitive two-note chorus melody is based on the JB’s horn riff that cropped up on Buffalo Stance among other records in the JB-crazed late 80s/early 90s.

    Westlife’s brief dalliance with faster tempos. This was news to me! So what came next?

    Bop Bop Baby starts off like Bruce Hornsby’s The Way It Is, and then moves into something reminiscent of Deacon Blue doing Every Day Is Like Sunday. Presumably, it’s failure to reach Popular heights meant Westlife decided not to issue the far boppier When You’re Looking Like That in the UK, though it was a single in Europe and Australia.

    Oh yeah, the key change on WOOO is just plain weird.

  22. 22
    Shiny Dave on 13 Jan 2017 #

    It’s at least trying to be Slightly Different. As you say, very Gregg Alexander, which suggests Life is a Rollercoaster is the obvious influence here.

    Of course, this is Westlife, so it’s more than a little generic – perhaps this is the ultimate compliment to Alexander, that he can get a “generic ripoff” treatment a couple of years later.

    This was the title track from the album – and yet, oddly, was track 9, and the third single. And for those of you waiting for an opportunity to wonder what a performer upgrade would do to a Westlife song, a cover of track 8 of said album is the very next bunny…

    As much as we might fancy ourselves as the pop equivalent of snazzy interior designers, magnolia was a trope of this Changing Rooms era for a reason, namely that it was inoffensive and quietly pleasant. I guess the same applies to Westlife, at least when they’re on form, and I think this is them on form. 5.

  23. 23
    AMZ1981 on 14 Jan 2017 #

    With hindsight we can see that this was Westlife’s only uptempo number one; all their remaining bunnies are ballads. And yet there were a handful of uptempo singles but they just didn’t do as well; we’ve touched on the relative failure of Bop Bop Baby. It’s easy to be sniffy about Westlife but during their career they did build up a following and their music meant a lot to their fans (one hopes so anyway). The chart placings of their singles to come suggest that their fans preferred the ballads and you can’t really blame any band for giving the faithful what they want.

  24. 24
    EPG on 14 Jan 2017 #

    The word entryist gets used a lot about more credible pop groups, but perhaps the true entryism was to mobilise otherwise popapathetic adults in supermarkets as singles-buyers through non-traditional media and technology – let’s say grown-up TV counts as non-traditional media in this context!

  25. 25
    MUSICALITY on 24 Apr 2017 #

    I liked this one purely as it was something different from them so it sparked my interest however it’s good not amazing.

  26. 26
    Gareth Parker on 6 Jun 2021 #

    One of their better #1s in imho, although it runs out of steam towards the end. 5/10.

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