When you think of the Irish music scene, you automatically think of U2’s Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. As such, when the Script emerged from Dublin a few years ago, people expected the band to be the next U2, but they were soon proven wrong by the band’s fresh sound that mixed soft rap with ooh-ooh choruses. Though the first two albums by the Script were unique and original, and contain some of the best messages about poverty and love I’d ever heard (listen to “We Cry” from “The Script” and “Nothing” from their sophomore effort, “Science and Faith”), when the third album, somewhat cheekily titled “#3” rolled around, I was disappointed by the overwhelming use of ooh-ooh chants and raps.
I was very happy with the beginning of the album, as “Good Ol’ Days” is easily the best song on the album, with its singalong bar chants and pounding piano riffs. When “Six Degrees of Separation” rolls in, you immediately feel the pain of lead vocalist Danny O’Donoghue’s recent breakup with his girlfriend, as the song is a beautiful ballad that you’ll want to sing along with every time you listen. When “Hall of Fame” comes in, however, the album begins to stray into unfamiliar territory: It is a generic rap ballad with an awesome piano riff and inspiring lyrics, but the notes and chords of the song leave you thinking the band could have done better.
“If You Could See Me Now” has a sweet background, as it was written to the band members’ deceased parents. However, it made me think: If you’re going to write a song about your deceased parents, you could at least put more effort into it.
“Glowing” is a generic ballad that has almost stalkerish lyrics, with references to chasing after a lover.
“Give the Love Around” tells listeners to spread love and kindness throughout the world, and it will be returned. Though the song’s message is sweet, the song is not original, although the guitar riff constantly playing in the background is one of the band’s catchiest.
“Broken Arrow” is another bitter love song with various ooh-oohs, but it has another generic rap. However, this piece was easily one of O’Donoghue’s best vocal performances on the album. “Kaleidoscope” is a distorted, ooh-ooh song with repetitive lyrics and simple chord structures, yet it is catchy and colorful. “No Words” is essentially the same song as “Broken Arrow,” but this time it’s a loving pop ballad instead of heartbreaking one..
And finally, “Millionaires” is another basic ballad. When it ended, I thought: “Is that all?”
This album is easily the band’s weakest. It has strayed from the alternative pop rock of its first two albums and has wandered into different, slightly-too-poppy territory: soft rap rock. I really hoped the band wouldn’t go too mainstream, considering that O’Donoghue is a coach on “The Voice” in the U.K., but my fear came true. The album upset me.
And yet I love this band more than I love air.
I’ve always prided myself on my love for original music, and the Script has always been my favorite. From O’Donoghue’s breathy vocals to the heavy bass lines of underrated bassist Ben Sargeant, to the drumbeats of Glen Power and the riffs of Mark Sheehan, I love them through thick and thin.
But, boys, please go back to your original ways.
“#3” by the Script, Two½ out of 4 stars
Jesse Orrange is a sophomore at Kenmore West High School.