Nicky Byrne might have released 10 studio albums with Westlife, but until now he’s never released anything all his own. That’s changed with the release of his solo debut album Sunlight. It includes his Eurovision entry, but reveals so much more.
Nicky wears many hats. In addition to being a musician, he’s also a radio and TV presenter, dancer, and former semi-professional footballer. He is best known for being a member of Irish music band Westlife, but dropped it solo at Eurovision 2016.
Kicking off as a firm fan favourite ahead of the contest, Nicky brought star power to the contest, but the results failed to secure him a spot in the finals. However, that didn’t deter him from writing and recording one of the most enjoyable collection of drivetime songs this year, with his new album Sunlight.
The album was cowritten by Don Mescall, Ronan Hardiman and Wayne Hector, who have collectively penned some of the biggest hits for the Backstreet Boys, Olly Murs and One Direction. “Sunlight” appears to be a conscious effort to pick up where Westlife left off, and move the sound into more acoustic rock territory. The sound is a lot more mature, and tracks like “Some Things Always Seem To Last”, “Song For Lovers” and “Pretty” stand out because of the vulnerability put on show — both lyrically and vocally.
As Nicky confesses on the album sleeve, “Deep down in my heart, I have always dreamt of holding my very own album with songs on there that people would enjoy, even relate to, or sing along with in their car, or maybe even have as their first dance at their wedding somewhere in the world.”
The title track carries an anthemic chorus and delicious harmonies. He maintains that spirit throughout the album, with each spin making this more cohesive. The 10-track album has come to fruition after three years of hard work, but the result carries none of that weight. It’s a smooth delight.