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I bought this album a few years ago when I seen it in a bargain bin for £1.50.
The album is well produced and well executed. I can't really class these guys as a "boyband" as they write some of their own songs and play their own instruments. The album what released over ten years ago now so it does sound a little dated, however the album is mainly full of feel good songs so it does cheer me up when I listen to it. It's very upbeat and cheerful.
There's a lovely ballad on the album which is called Everytime. Yes, the song is a little cheesy, however it's nice and it's worth a listen. Plus the boys sing it really well and I love Ben's vocals on the song. It's a little bit like something the Backstreet Boys release, following the same boyband theme. There's another couple of ballads on the album but this ballad is my favourite. Like A Rose is a positive love song but it's not as good as Everytime.
As for upbeat songs there's Summertime Of Our Lives which is a very poppy song that sounds both fresh and summery. It's another song that cheers me up when I hear it and it reminds me of summer when I was younger. I also love Be The First To Believe which was their debut single. This is a very fresh sounding song with a catchy chorus and easy to learn dance moves.
The album contains ballads, uptempo songs and songs that just wanna make you get up and dance.
Worth a listen.
If you've read some of my other CD reviews, you might have gathered that I often enjoy listening to boybands and a1 is an example of that. This was their debut album and really captured the poppy vibe that was successful around 8 years ago (has it really been that long?!). They differ to other boybands as they write their own material (or at the very least, have a helping hand in writing it).
***Be The First To Believe***
This is a quite cheesy up-tempo track that was pretty typical of pop songs at the time that it was released. This was the debut single from a1 and did fairly well in the charts. There are a few other tracks on the album in the same up-tempo style as this, although as you read this review, you'll note that most of my favourite tracks from this album are the slower ballad-type tracks so I'm not going to discuss those. This track is annoyingly catchy and sticks in your head after listening to it.
This is a ballad with piano backing. Mark opens up the solo vocals. Although Ben tended to sing a lot of lead vocals, I prefer Mark's vocals for the most part. Ben then has a couple of lines leading into the chorus. At this point, the backing really kicks in and a more generic sounding backing track takes over from the piano. The piano is still there in the background but it is no longer centre stage in terms of backing. All of the boys get a chance to sing solo on this track, which is nice as this doesn't always happen in a boyband where one singer tends to be pushed to the front.
***Ready Or Not***
This is a more up-tempo track. I don't like the opening few lines before the main vocals start and if you've heard the track, you'll probably know which I'm referring to. All of the guys get a turn at the solo verses and have a verse each. This comes across as a bit of a cheesy song but that is quite typical of the up-tempo tracks on the album and these type of tracks fitted in well to the pop scene in the late 90's/early 2000's.
***Like a Rose***
This is another of the ballads on the album, and probably one of the more well known ones as the track was released as a single. Ben sings the vast majority of the solo vocals, which I think is a bit of a shame as I would have preferred Mark to have had some share of them too. Even in the chorus, he can be heard above the other boys so the harmonies aren't great here and they come across more as backing singers than fellow bandmates. The track has a backing track whereas I think it would have sounded better with a piano or guitar as backing.
***Walking In The Rain***
This is a mid-tempo ballad with Ben and Christian on lead vocals in the verses and chorus. Here, there is a light guitar backing alongside the backing track. The harmonies are nice on this track and I prefer it to Like a Rose as the other members of the group get more of a look in.
***Heaven By Your Side***
This is yet another ballad and the closing track on the album. It opens with a piano backing. As far as I can tell, Christian starts off the solo vocals, followed by Mark, Paul and Ben before the chorus. Each only have one or two lines each before Ben takes over the lead vocals in the chorus. The second verse sees Paul and Ben take centre stage. Ben displays some nice higher notes (as does someone else after this but I can't quite work out who - I'm veering towards Christian but may be wrong!) and there are some good harmonies too. Again, I prefer this to Like a Rose as the vocals are more shared out (although they fall in Ben's favour I would say). Towards the end, he has the vocals pretty much to himself with the other boys providing backing harmonies.
This was a really good debut album. The songs were really current at the time but sound a bit dated now that the pop scene has changed somewhat. I still like listening to them as a kind of guilty pleasure though as there are some really perky tracks such as Be The First To Believe and Ready Or Not. The ballads are better for when you want to chill out more as they are more laid-back. Although Ben tends to get a lot of the vocals to himself, there are more than a few tracks on this album that see the vocals shared out amongst the other three band members so fortunately it doesn't come across as being one step away from a solo album!
One of the best boybands of all time.
This was the first album by a1 when they were still very baby faced and new to the scene. Mark, Ben, Christian and Paul came out very manufactured but still amazingly good. They were always a band who were all about the fans.
This album had the singles Be The First To Believe, Summertime of our Lives, Everytime/Ready or Not and Like a Rose which Ben Adams wrote at the tender age of 16.
Be The First to Believe is very typically cheesy but you can't help but love it. It portrayed the boys as fun loving and very leen and eager to conquer the pop world. Summertime of our Lives was along the same lines but still all good!
There are some beautiful ballads on this album. Like a Rose, Walking in the Rain and Everytime are all fantastic.
The album in general is still very amateurish but it shows all the great things that were to come for a1. They were a boyband where each member could actually sing and they played their own instruments also.
This album was the foundation which awared them with a fanbase of young and old across the country. Following closely to this album they carried out a City Hall tour where they performed all these classic hits and some from their up and coming second album, the A List.
This album may be cheesy boyband pop but it is a great addition to any CD catalogue that you may have!
I used to love A1 when they first stormed the charts with 'Be The First To Believe' The charts needed a new boy group at the end of the nineties and these four notched up some huge hits.
Who are they:
Ben Adams (recently in celeb Big Brother), Christian, Mark and Paul. Ben did most of the writing and singing though and was the best vocalist of the four.
The group lasted from 1999 until 2002, so not that long really.
On this album:
'Be The First To Believe' was a top ten hit, reaching number 6. It is a catchy pop song, much in the vein of Five of Backstreet Boys with a pounding chorus. 'Summetime Of Our Lives' was less frantic and did actually sound summery with the light breezy melody. My choicw would be the lovely ballad 'Everytime' which was a chance for Ben's vocals to really shine.
Not sure there is, all the songs are alright but I think 'Like A Rose' is quite depressing
Overall: A solid pop debut from a talented and underrated pop act
I knew I would like A1 when they first came onto the scene, basically because I like good pop music and this is what A1 produce. I purchased the album after hearing their fisrt few singles. They were all poppy songs which were uplifing! The album is a mixture of the typical boyband pop and ballads. I do think there is a difference between A1 and other 'boybands.' A1 do in fact write their own material and they can in fact play instrument , they are more than just pretty faces! I was also intrigued that they co-wrote some of their early singles with Peter Cunnah who fronted D:Ream, who are well known for their pop classics. The beginning of the album features the singles: Be the first to believe, Summertime of our lives and Ready or Not. The rest of the album is a treat to listen to as it contains more pop tunes that will have your head bopping. All in all it is a promising first album by these lads. TThe second album has not been any different where quality is concerned! I urge people to give these lads a chance as they are somewhat more credible than many other acts in their genre!
Ready or not - a1 are back and they are better than ever! The 1st album - Here we come - was full of hit-tastic songs like "Like a Rose" (Ben wrote this one at 17) "Walking in the Rain" (Ben/Christian) and "Summertime of our lives" (Ben/mark/Paul/Christian) which gave us something to dance to all summer (and sing all winter). The album was the best boy-band album of all time. Now they are back with the "a list". The a List is a kaleidoscope of tunes to suit every1s tastes from the Latin song "celebrate our love" to the a-ha cover of "Take On Me" to the fast beat of "too bad baby". This album is great value for money, and I recommend it to all a1 fans, even those who aren?t keen on a1 would like this due to the variety of songs.
A1 are a very popular band at the moment. The members are (l 2 r=left to right) Paul, Mark, Ben and Christian. They have had 2 number 1 hits and are getting better as they go on. This album is excellent with some ballads and fun uptempo songs. I saw them live and they were brilliant they sung songs from this album and their new one. Their style of music is pop. They must be excellent because Michael Jackson has asked the band if they would write songs for his new album. They did a signing in my town and girls were standing there from 4am in the morning and they weren't signing til 12pm I found it amazing. The album is excellent though and if you like A1's style of music you'll like this and the new album the A-list.
If anyone reads my opinions they will know that I adore the Backstreet Boys above and beyond any other group. Fullstop. However, I listen to other bands obviously, and don't close my eyes to the fact that some of the others are pretty good. Not as good as Backstreet Boys, but good! A1 are one of those bands that fall into that category. They seem to be very underrated, as some of them play instruments and they write a lot of their own songs, unlike some others. Did someone say Westlife? Hmm, it was me!! Ben, Mark, Paul and Christian make up A1 and apart from being quite talented, they are a nice bunch of lads. Not nice as in boring, but it's great to see a group of lads who don't have a reputation for smashing up hotel rooms, doing drugs, getting drunk, sticking their finger up at all and sundry, or getting into fights in a Dublin bar. I don't like all their songs, perhaps they need fresh material, but the talent is there. Their cover of 'Take on me' was good, but thankfully they don't keep doing covers, unlike some other bands. When they first came on to the scene, they were up against 5ive and another group for an award for best new band and they lost to 5ive. I thought that would be the last we'd hear of them, but no, here they are, and I hope they are here for quite a while, because they are a refreshing change.
News Just in!!!!!!! A1 aren't actually the devil's offspring. Its a surprise to most people who know them as those b*****ds who ruined "Take On Me" but a sad old pop kid like me always knew they could do better.. Its a strange choice of venue, more accustomed to Snooker competitions than gigs, but A1 can join that dubious list of Jimmy Nail and Mel C as the venue's most recent highlights. Thankfully the A1 boys are a lot easier on the eye, and don't the girls know it. After an hour of not too subliminal advertising for the single, the album, the website and everything under the kitchen sinked skyline, the guys finally hit the stage. With a trio of single's "Believe", "Summertime Of Our Lives" and "Same Old Brand New You" they couldn't really fail. The latter sees the guys moving to what you could call N'Sync or Backstreet Boys Territory and its probably the only time tonight when the new songs work. Believe it or not, but the band all in there early 20's, have already reached that mature stage. So what we get is not just a backing taped mime but the addition of, shock horror, a live band, live vocals and even the odd tinkling of the ivories by the guys themselves. In typical boy band style everyone has a favourite and its the cute, baby faced features of Ben that wins over the teenage girls (and a splattering of teenage boys). Saying that though there isn't much competition, Paul and Mark are just average guys and the less said about Christian the better. I think a reasonably sized section of the crowd said it best when hushed boo's filled the arena each time he spoke. The ultimate highlight tonight is the Motown pastiche of "Ready Or Not". One of the all time pop singles even rivalling the early days of Take That, who they used to model themselves on. With a selection of ballads like "Like A Rose" and "Everytime" and a cover of Ricky M
artins "Livin' La Vide Loca" they manage to please everyone in the audience. With only a couple of low points in the set, the terrible cover of the Beatles "She Loves You", Christian's solo song and the ill advised "Take On Me" cover. It has to be said though that the latter's dance routine stretches the boundaries of comedy to a Number 1 chart position. After a near 2hr set the guys leave the stage and the mass of teenage girls rush outside for a glimpse of their heroes leaving in a blacked out van. For me the pub seemed to beckon me in. But you know if Ben asked you to "Take On Me", you wouldn't exactly say no would you. Alex McCann
When A1 first came out I had never heard of them, it wasn`t until my friend requested the CD as a Christmas present that I had a quick listen to it and found out that I actually quite liked their sounds. I`m really looking forward to the release of there new song "Take On Me" and the release of their new album. The songs would apeall to most age groups and would be ideal as a present for one of your mates. Go ahead, you know that you want to buy it. I really feel that the boys have tried hard with the album and is reflected in the final product. An incredible CD deserving a massive 10 out of 10. Excellent.
This group burst onto the pop scene only a year ago and have already had four top ten hits. This album is great to listen to because the songs are very catchy and uplifting. Summertime Of Our Lives is very up-tempo but there are also slow songs such as Like a Rose which was written by Ben. Like a Rose is a beautiful ballad and shows off the boys` voices (and this band can actually sing). With a variety of great songs on this debut album it is a definite hit. Even those who are cynical about boy bands will be surprised by this.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Forever in love
2 Be the first to believe
3 Summertime of our lives
4 Ready or not
6 If only
7 Hey you
8 Like a rose
9 Walking in the rain
10 Still around
11 I still believe
12 Heaven by your side