Projecting themselves as a harder-edged, occasionally rapping British Backstreet Boys, 5ive know how to spew out an album-full of accessible tunes. The quintet has cocky humor down pat, starting with the CD booklet suggestion "Everyone who doesn't want to admit they like what they hear, we'd prefer you used the CD as a coaster." No need to worry -- the album is dizzying, fun, danceable, and all-around glowing. Listening to Invincible is like listening to a fledgling high school talent show group. The members have ambition and a youthful vibe that draws in listeners instantly; no older, matured singers are going to come up with this kind of music -- this is their time. What this also means is that to enjoy the songs one has to forgive their sophomoric lyrics ("you got me trippin because I want you bad"). Considering their target audience, their sexual prowlings are more difficult to forgive. On "If Ya Gettin' Down" they throw together the message that the group is back with a new album with the lyric "I heard somebody say she's at the party so I'm gonna get me some." It is hard to catch the messages in most of the songs because the rhythms over-compensate particularly for their individual voices (future solo albums seem unlikely). What is evident, and what mostly separates them from competing boy-bands, is that their focus is not on love songs. The one that best qualifies as a love song is the tender "You Make Me a Better Man." On its own, the song is sensitive and believable, but no intelligent teenage girl is going to believe them for a minute when the rest of the album is seeping with hormone-driven girl catching and shallow guy-talk. An exception is "Mr. Z," a song about a man who places caps on his cat's head. This truly witty tune is probably the funniest yet to show up on a boy-band album. Positivity reigns supreme on tracks like "Keep on Movin" and "How Do Ya Feel," which are melodic enough to qualify a diabetes warning on the album's cover. There are a couple of gnawing tracks -- "Serious" and a spiced up version of "We Will Rock You" -- but after finishing the album with the futuristically motivated "Battlestar" there is little doubt that these guys have what it takes to zap the musically worn. "Battlestar" has a sound and production that would have made a good idea for an entire album, one that could have made much better use of the title, ahem, "Millenium."
AllMusic Review by Peter Fawthrop