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Perhaps a little too well scripted...?
on 12 August 2008
My first impression of The Script's debut album during the first listen was that it was perfectly nice music, rather reminiscent - at times - of Coldplay as well as polished American AOR acts such as John Mayer and Five For Fighting. After the album had finished I thought that, while it was obvious that there was a certain amount of talent on display throughout their self-titled debut, it wasn't really anything particularly special. After a few more listens, however, I slowly discovered a little more of this Dublin-based three piece's appeal. Lead singer Danny O'Donoghue has a good voice which reminds me a little of Sting on certain songs, especially on 'Rusty Halo', a track which, strangely enough, has echoes of 'Ghost In The Machine'-era The Police on it.
Their lyrics are generally very good, even excellent at times, and tell often familiar stories without falling into the trap of cliché, but there isn't much here in terms of the music which has much in terms of innovation - there isn't a single track on the album which you would be able to claim was truly original. Also, on the whole, the album is a little too slick and, at times, the music feels like a carefully manufactured product which, based on the acts who have sold exceptionally well there, will probably sell them bucketloads of records in the USA, but I think the discerning and not just casual music fan may not find enough on this album for it to have a special place in their heart or collection.
To surmise, it's all very good, decent music which is probably a lot more pop than rock - I certainly wouldn't describe it as 'indie' music - and, don't get me wrong, I do like it, but there isn't enough on this album for me to love it. The picks of the album, for me, are the classy 'The Man Who Can't Be Moved', 'Rusty Halo', 'If You See Kay' and their debut single, 'We Cry'. Oddly enough, it's on the bonus track 'Anybody There' that they've come closest to producing a classic song. These guys have talent and they have bags of potential but I can't help feeling that if, musically, they concentrated less on making their songs sound commercially appealing and more on expressing the emotions contained within the lyrics via the music then they'd be able to make an album more representative of their ability.