added: 9 Sep 2012
// release date: 10 Sep 2012 // label: Sony
reviewer: David Spencer
Lead singer of The Script, Danny O’Donoghue, has seen his profile raised since becoming a late replacement for Will Young on the BBC's The Voice, and that means his band’s latest release was always going to gain more attention than its two predecessors. There is a concern this would cause them to become more commercial (if possible) and therefore less interesting. The arrival of fellow The Voice judge will.i.am on lead single Hall of Fame only added to that fear. The fact that Jessie J or Tom Jones do not guest is both a relief and a blessing.
Always schooled in an American style pop, The Script, to their credit, have produced some fine pop moments (The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, Breakeven and For The First Time for example) and there are two or three here of equal quality. Aforementioned lead single Hall of Fame, the anthemic Six Degrees Of Separation (about O’Donoghue’s split from model Irma Mali) and Good Ol’ Days are the pick.
Elsewhere, there is a mix of O’Donoghue’s half rapped, half sung vocal style throughout. On songs like Give The Love Around it ends up being a little too generic and uninspiring, as opposed to the more stirring Broken Arrow. If You Could See Me Now is an emotional tribute to O’Donoghue’s late father – and to guitarist Mark Sheehan’s parents, who died within months of each other when he was just 12 years old; “I know it’s been a while, but I can see you clear as day….I wish I could hear you say you drink too much and smoke too much”.
At a sensible ten tracks, #3 is without too much unnecessary fodder and sees the band sounding more and more confident. But in this cut and thrust world, the large labels need big sales and the album could fall short of those demands. It would be a shame if O’Donoghue’s higher profile means The Script lose focus, as they have more to offer than most of today’s bland pop bands.
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