Ronan Keating is cheating. 10 Years of Hits, which is supposed to compile his solo hit singles from the last ten years, actually has a significant chunk of its track lists comprising of songs from his hits during the years when he was a member of Boyzone. Of course, he re-records them here so that he can cut his ex-band mates from their share of the royalty as well as pass them off as his “solo” hits, that charmer. Well, life is too short to crap on an insignificant wanker like this guy anyway. Listening to this CD, it’s obvious that not only is Mr Keating a very old man trapped in a young man’s body, he is determined to make his listeners age at an accelerated pace.
There are only two songs here that can pass themselves off as tunes: the lovely ballad When You Say Nothing at All (which I find actually better than the original version) and the fun Life Is a Rollercoaster, a song for which Mr Keating should be forever grateful to Gregg Alexander for. Everything else is painfully dull, formulaic adult contemporary ballads recreated using a potent diarrhea of unimaginative strings, dull piano tinklings, and yawn-inducing female background vocals designed to resemble the sounds coming from the haunted gramophone of one’s long-dead great-grandmother. He seems to have a knack for choosing the most dreary songs to cover (We’ve Got Tonight, If Tomorrow Never Comes) and replicating his original songs to be as dreary as these cover versions.
His remakes of the Boyzone songs are complete massacres because instead of singing, he chooses to indulge in show-off vocal acrobatics that only demonstrate how much his voice has deteriorated to resemble the painful last bleats of a sheep dying of prion infection. After hearing his hysterical bleating wails in Father and Son, a pointless remake into a duet featuring the original singer, Yusuf, I sometimes wake up covered in cold sweat with Mr Keating’s awful shrieking still ringing in my ears.
10 Years of Hits proves one thing: Mr Keating starts out on a promising track in his solo career with two fabulous songs and then somehow turns into an old, old man unfamiliar with concepts like “hook”, “catchiness”, and “fun”. Don’t listen to this CD while you are stirring something that is boiling on the stove – I’d hate to hear that you fell asleep halfway and end up with your head in the pot, all cooked up. That will be only a little more tragic than the fact that this old, old boring twit manages to squeeze four or five years of music career out of marketing dreary crap to silly teenagers and deaf residents of old folks’ homes. This is one case where hits must be an anagram of some sort.