Following in the footsteps of fellow band-member Ronan Keating, Boyzone's Stephen Gately seems to be searching for his niche with a solo album aptly named "New Beginning" - and one may add that this is quite a good beginning too!
The album boasts of the type of ballads the Irish band is famous for; even the peppy guitar work is reminiscent of the Boyzone style of music. Notable tracks include the title track, "New Beginning", and "If Only You Were Here". "Judgement Day", done in an upbeat style is pretty soul stirring, and the rest of the tracks aren't bad either.
The songs, most of which are written by Gately himself, are intensely personal and deal with topics like loneliness, rejection, falling in love - the staple of most pop albums. The guitar work and harmonious vocals make for a pleasant combination, and some of the peppier numbers are quite listenable.
As he struggles to find his feet with this intensely personal album, Gately's effort shows through and the end product is very nice, very easy on the ears; it's also faintly reminiscent of George Michael's earlier albums. If you're a Boyzone fan, you won't be disappointed.This article was first published on 18 Oct 2000.