At first glance, A1 may seem no different than the rest of the late-'90s onslaught of boy bands, but these guys differ in that they write their own songs and play their own instruments. That said, this group is definitely a boy band album in the true sense of the word (they're really a "band"). Their upbeat songs are extremely catchy, proving these guys are quite adept as songwriters and may have much longer careers as tunesmiths than what a boy band career may promise. Vocally they are more 'N Sync than Backstreet Boys, although their music, when upbeat, is more disco than 'N Sync's edgier sound. Half the songs on this album are Euro-disco pop, while the other half are ballads. The strongest song on this set is the incredibly catchy "Be the First to Believe." This album scored four European hits for the band, those being the aforementioned "Be the First to Believe," "Summertime of Our Lives," "Everytime" (a double-sided single b/w "Ready or Not," whose string arrangement recalls the disco classic "Never Can Say Goodbye"), and "Like a Rose." Perhaps due to its more disco leanings, or perhaps due to its being less aggressive than American boy bands, this disc never saw a U.S. release, although their European success continued to escalate with their second album, The A List.
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AllMusic Review by Jose F. Promis