Album Review: The Script – #3

By on Wednesday, 3rd October 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

The Script’s lead singer and keyboardist Danny O’Donoghue has been in the public eye, in his very high-profile position as one of the guest judges on The Voice. After the last Voice season wrapped, O’Donoghue got together with guitarist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power to write and record their third album, unimaginatively titled ‘#3”. Or maybe that’s not lack of imagination and instead an attempt to be more relatable?

Either way, they didn’t have to worry about sales; the album already hit #1 in Ireland and #2 in the UK, bolstered no doubt by their legion of fans. As a fan myself, I wanted to see what parts of this album could be appealing to people who might never pick up a Script album. So this review will seek to explore those parts…and the parts that conversely might turn someone off.

Having played for many years in my childhood, the clearness of the piano notes was the first thing I really loved about this album. Many people will have heard this already via ‘Hall of Fame’, the first single released from the album and also the band’s first #1 in the UK. It’s also the most high profile of the songs, with a collaboration with Black Eye Peas’ will.i.am. What’s kind of strange about his collaboration is it’s really unnecessary when it comes to the Script. When Keane decided to work with K’Naan for ‘Stop for a Minute’, it was unique because that was Keane’s first foray into r&b; O’Donoghue and Sheehan have been doing r&b long before the Script’s debut album. . (‘Broken Arrow’ on this very album shows Sheehan’s own great ability with delivering rap lines, and in a fashion that I’d venture would appeal to Example’s fans.) But we can just guess that ‘Hall of Fame’ happened during the downtime of The Voice. It’s just that will.i.am’s contributions, including half-hearted “yeahs” during the second chorus, are too phoned in to make the track really compelling.

The direct opposite would be ‘Six Degrees of Separation’, which is not a track waxing philosophical about Facebook and Google +, but instead a song about – no surprise here – a break-up. (In case you didn’t know, the Script are best known for their songs about relationships gone awry, such as ‘The Man That Can’t Be Moved’ and ‘Nothing’.) The crisp notes of piano are present again, and in the same vein of their biggest break-up hit ‘Breakeven’, it concludes that a broken heart is just that. Broken. I also noticed that the chorus bass line of the two songs are the same. Coincidence? Not sure, but ‘Six Degrees…’ is a good song, even if its too complex storyline won’t make it a classic like ‘Breakeven’.

Which brings me to ‘If You Could See Me Now’, a heartful open letter to O’Donoghue’s late father and Sheehan’s parents who passed away when he was 12. It is a heartstring-pulling and possibly sob-inducing number briefly touching on the two songwriters’ memories of their parents and how badly they wish they could be here now to witness their success. Sheehan has stated he doesn’t think they’ll ever play it live because he becomes too emotional thinking about it. “Take that rage / put it on a page / take the page to the stage / then blow the roof off the place“ are the most powerful words of the song and showcase the band’s strength in songwriting.

Unfortunately, this strength isn’t on show on the rest of the album. ‘Good Ol’ Days’, the opening number on the album, is a boozy singalong that is fun but unimpressive. ‘No Words’ is a passable but cheesy love song. ‘Give the Love Around’ is so filled with words, it’s ridiculous; it might have been passable as well if the melody went somewhere. O’Donoghue’s piano is commanding in ‘Glowing’, but the slight stalkerish bent is uncomfortable (“you’re trying to save me / from your past of your bad decisions / but my decision’s always gonna be / to follow you”) and the strange end of “we’ve got everything we own / in a cardboard box” leaves a bad taste in the mouth. And the album ends with the forgettable ‘Millionaires’. While there are some bright spots that will work wonderfully on radio, the listener is left wondering what might have been.

6.5/10

The Script’s third album, unimaginatively titled ‘#3’, is out now on Epic. Watch the video for ‘Hall of Fame’ featuring will.i.am below.

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2 Responses

10:52 am
22nd October 2012

I am lovin’ #3! Keep it up, boys!

[…] If you lost a parent, you’re probably always wondering if that parent can see what you’re doing here on Earth in their absence. Here is the new video for the Script‘s ‘If You See Me Now’, paying homage to singer Danny O’Donoghue and guitarist Mark Sheehan’s late parents. The song is a tear-jerky highlight off the band’s third album, ‘#3′ (read my review here). […]

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