There’s a thin line between what makes pop ‘Girls Aloud good’ or ‘Westlife bad’, and throughout their prolific three and a half year career McFly have teetered precariously between both – veering from catchy buoyant singalongs to unforgiveably cheesy ballads in a flick of one of their famously straightened fringes.
This greatest hits collection is proof that the boys can write – they’re one of the only pop acts around that do – and it contains an impressive seven number one singles and some of the UK chart’s most infectious entries ever, from the sweeping strings of Obviously to Please Please, Star Girl and I’ll Be Ok’s soaring choruses and Five Colours In Her Hair’s helter skelter riffs and tight harmonies.
There are also nods to an interesting new darker direction on the album’s three brand new tracks. The Heart Never Lies – complete with meaningful, rain-soaked video – marks the foursome’s first stab at a serious slow-burner, and The Way You Make Me Feel, an almost folky acoustic number proves there’s more to McFly than punchy guitar attacks.
The low points come during the band’s unneccessary cover of Don’t Stop Me Now, their version adding nothing to the explosive original, and All About You – the fact that it was released for a good cause unable to mask its insipid production and cringeworthy lyrics.
However, after just one listen any broad minded music fan will have to admit that Greatest Hits boasts some undeniably addictive and well constructed offerings. McFly have never claimed to be anything other than lots of fun and the fact that they are able to dish out it out time and time again, neatly packaged in fresh, spirited sumptuous pop parcels after many of their counterparts have crashed and burned, is to be admired.
With ‘serious indie’ music giving us The Twang and Reverend and the Makers and dull as dishwater records by Hard-Fi, Editors and Kaiser Chiefs over the past year, it’s really no wonder we’re looking for a bit of action elsewhere…