JLS, the second-place runner-up on The X Factor in 2008, come up with a few standout songs on their eponymous album debut, which is otherwise rather bland. The British boy band, comprised of singers Oritsé Williams, Aston Merrygold, Jonathan Gill, and Marvin Humes, is certainly likable. They're cute and charismatic, and they sing well enough. What they lack is songwriting talent. They're credited with writing many of the songs on the album; in fact, most of the album's second half is penned by them and produced by Metrophonic. These songs aren't all that good. The highlights of JLS aren't those songs written by the bandmembers, but rather those written and produced by industry hitmakers. In particular, the songwriting team of Wayne Hector and Steve Mac, perhaps best known for their work with Westlife, contribute a few songs, two of which are great: "Beat Again" and "Everybody in Love." The latter is produced by J.R. Rotem, another industry hitmaker who crafted a pair of smash hits from earlier in the year, Iyaz's "Replay" and Jason Derülo's "Whatcha Say," not to mention smash hits from years past such as Rihanna's "S.O.S." and Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls." Elsewhere on JLS, R&B singer/songwriter Taio Cruz is credited with co-writing "Keep One" and the veteran Danish duo Soulshock & Karlin are credited with co-writing and producing "One Shot." These two songs, in addition to the aforementioned pair by Hector and Mac, are far and away the best material here. The rest is more or less filler, though JLS fans will take some interest in these other songs because they're written by the bandmembers themselves rather than tailor-made by industry hitmakers.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier