Not Invincible, But Not Bad Either

The boy-band craze continues unabated as Five (one of England's foremost contributions to the heartthrob race) check in with Invincible, their sophomore album.

The five (go figure) lads that make up the group — Scott, J, Ritchie, Sean and Abs — immediately distinguish themselves from many of their singing and dancing competitors by actually writing some of their own songs. While these contributions don't necessarily make the material sound much different from that of their contemporaries, it's still nice to know that the fellows have more involvement than just skipping about in front of the mics.

Undeniably, Five's songs are likeable. They're tight and sweet, without being too sappy. Refreshingly, there are no strings. Nor is there any heavy-handed layering of vocals, which have a bit more wallop in some spots than one might expect.

"If Ya Getting Down" ( RealAudio excerpt) and "Keep On Movin" ( RealAudio excerpt) — both songs co-written by the group — and the single, "Don't Fight It Baby," are peppy and downright catchy summer anthems waiting to happen.

Five stall with their cover of Queen's '70s anthem "We Will Rock You" ( RealAudio excerpt). Not that Queen were a bunch of tough guys, but this version (complete with pseudo-angry rapping and a screaming guitar solo) comes off sounding, well, uninformed.

For the most part, this contribution to the singing, dancing boy-band parade is strong and perfectly palatable.