All those women who once swooned to his romantic ballads, are now imagining themselves trying to find their other shoe and making an appointment at the STD clinic. These days. it seems you have to have an edge if you want to maintain your place in the charts.
Brian McFadden has obviously been taking notes, since he's staging his latest comeback attempt with a surprising new single that couldn't be further from the good old days with Westlife. To them, 'edgy' meant dismounting their stools before the key-change kicked in.
Aside from the production, which sounds like a weird fusion of hillbilly and techno (technobilly, anyone?), the song is striking for its dubious message. He claims it's a lovesong to his girlfriend Delta Goodrem, although it's hard to imagine the squeaky-clean popstrel being overly enamoured with the lyric "I like you just the way you are, drunk in the back seat of my car". Delta's idea of a wild night would be grilling the tofu steaks before throwing them in a stir-fry.
Delta may like the song, but plenty of other people are disturbed by the message at its heart. Brian seems to like getting his girl so drunk that he can "do some damage", suggesting that he's not averse to spiking someone's Bacardi Breezer to get his end away.
Brian's horrified that his innocent "tongue-in-cheek" song has been taken out of context, claiming "I am shocked at these ridiculous accusations about my new song. For the record I wrote the song about how I love it when Delta has a drink -- which is very rarely -- and she's dancing."
On the plus side, at least the controversy has got him back in the papers - a side-effect that I'm sure never occurred to him when he was writing it. And although he claims not to be promoting date-rape in the track, my ears are still going to need to speak to a counsellor after nearly four minutes of abuse.