It’s sad to watch a good band break away from its roots and then blow away in the wind. Some artists can make the transition with minimal damage — maybe even with exciting results. Unfortunately, The Script was not one of those bands.
The group released their debut album, simply titled The Script, back in 2008, and I fell in love. My best friend and I sang “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” to each other everyday, and texted one another every time it came on the radio. To us, it signified the pinnacle of romance and devotion, the embodiment of soft, smooth, soul-felt pop music.
Throughout their career, The Script has built on their musical talent and meaningful lyrics, releasing the hits “Breakeven,” “For the First Time,” and “Nothing,” sliding a new sound into the alternative pop-rock charts. With lead singer Danny O’Donoghue as the ringleader, and musicians Mark Sheehan and Glen Power as the circus, The Script seemed to house a formula that couldn’t go wrong.
But with the release of their third studio album, #3, I was sorely disappointed.
The music was decent but not enjoyable, with rich lyrics but emaciated sound. The strange mix of ballad and top 40’s-style rap did not enhance the album’s diversity — it instead sounded odd and forced, as if The Script were trying to throw on the guise of Eminem. The songs themselves were overly repetitive — as one of my friends noted, while listening to “Good ‘Ol Days”: “This song could have ended two minutes ago, and it still would have gotten the message across.”
The true problem is that the intriguing messages get lost in a muddle of mildly entertaining chords, beats, and raps. Words that encourage determination, strength and love die with boring rhythms; lines like, “this time she’s gonna take you to the good ol’ days with no gracing, only warm embraces with the two little sweet angels with dirty faces,” fade into the background.
And, yet, the album does give subtle tastes of The Script’s true potential. Songs like “Glowing” and “Millionaires” showcase the band’s previous rock ballad style and desperate, tender vibe. O’Donoghue seems to truly believe in what he’s singing, displaying an impressive range of vocal abilities. There’s heart in the music, but suppressed heart.
While I believe The Script has something significant to give to the music universe, the band took a slight misstep with #3. The whole album seems ironically like a bad stage production—the true performer is there, waiting, but he just can’t seem to step out from behind the velvet curtain.
By Lauren Puckett