Monday, September 7, 2020

Album Review: Ronan Keating Twenty Twenty

Ronan Keating is one of my favorite male singers. I have been to the last two Boyzone concerts in Manila because of this guy. When I heard that he was releasing a new album to celebrate his 20 years as a solo artist, I eagerly waited for it on Spotify.

I would like to think of this latest album as his album of duets and an album of wedding songs. There are several duets in the album, with a couple featuring artists that I like such as Shania Twain, Robbie Williams, and Alison Kraus. I call it an album of wedding songs because so many of the songs would make great songs to dance to during a wedding which, when I think about it, is something that his first solo single, When You Say Nothing At All, has been all these years.

As usual, Ronan has come up with a good collection of songs, but naturally, I do have my favorites, like Forever Ain’t Enough, One of a Kind (the orchestral version), Little Thing Called Love, Only Lovers, and Forever and Ever Amen (duet with Shania Twain). Special mention must go to the song The Big Goodbye, a duet by Ronan and Robbie Williams (who wrote the track years ago when Stephen Gately, who was also from Boyzone, died).

I think that Twenty Twenty is a good representation of where Ronan Keating is as an artist and as a person. I love that the songs seem to reflect the kind of man that he has become: the love that he has for his wife, the happiness of being in a good relationship, and all that. I think this was more than evident in that line from One of a Kind where he talks about wishing his mother could see his son. I know Ronan did not write that song (one of the people credited was Westlife singer Shane Filan) but that sounded like it was really made for him since his mother passed away from cancer back during his Boyzone days. I was so moved when I heard that line knowing that it fit his story perfectly well. The way Ronan sang that line I knew that the line really hit home with him.

It was a good touch that they included three songs that were part of his solo album: Lovin Each Day, Life is a Rollercoaster, and When You Say Nothing at All (a duet with Alison Krauss). The three songs were re-recorded and given a different spin, and I enjoyed listening to these new versions as much as I did the originals. Lovin Each Day is one song that when I heard the first few bars, I knew that it was the same song, but different enough to feel fresh and enjoyable after all these years. Being my favorites from that first album, it was nice to hear them given new life and being introduced to a new generation with this new album.

This album came out during the same week that Taylor Swift’s Folklore came out. At first, I thought that it would take a beating from Folklore but I was happy to hear that it still did well against Taylor Swift, even beating her at the number one spot for a time in several areas. 

Hopefully, one day Ronan Keating can come back to the country to promote this album (or any other future album) when the pandemic is over. I am still hoping that one day we can all find a way to continue with our lives and have events such as concerts without risking each other’s health. I hope that one day I can listen to this guy sing live again here in the country. 

Here’s hoping it happens soon.


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