I would have absolutely no idea who Irish band The Script was if not for Kris Allen. How does the 2009 “American Idol” winner fit into this equation? Well, after doing some research on Allen’s hit “Live Like We’re Dying”, I discovered that it was a cover version. Upon checking out The Script’s original, I realized that Allen’s “remake” was damn near an exact copy. As far as I knew, though, The Script had never received a U.S. release for their album (I was actually wrong about that…the album was released in America over a year ago). I promptly forgot about them until I was out one night and I heard their song “Breakeven”. I enjoyed that song enough that I made it my business to track down the band’s self-titled debut.
When I mentioned to my friend Jeff that I’d heard and enjoyed The Script’s album, he said the band reminded him of a mixture of Coldplay and The Fray. That’s somewhat accurate. I mean, you’d definitely hear all three bands on the same radio station. However, allmusic.com‘s comparison of The Script to Maroon 5 and OneRepublic is probably more accurate. Unlike The Fray and Coldplay, The Script has an urban/hip-hop influence to their music. Lead singer Danny O’Donoghue occasionally employs a rapid-fire cadence to his singing that’s definitely inspired by hip-hop, and there’s a graininess to his voice that suggests that he’s listened to a bit of soul in his day. Actually, his voice is VERY similar to OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder (it’s also similar to Sting at times). The Script suggests what that band would sound like if Tedder wrote better songs and threw the “F” bomb every now and again.
One thing I can definitely say is that “The Script” is hooky as hell. Almost every song on this album is the textbook definition of radio-ready. “Talk You Down” has an expansive production sound reminiscent of “Please Forgive Me” by David Gray. “Before the Worst” is a midtempo piano-led song that is probably where the Fray comparisons come into play. Musically, it sounds like “Over My Head (Cable Car)” and “How To Save a Life” had a baby. That said, O’Donoghue’s voice is far less cloying than Isaac Slade’s is.
The songs on “The Script” are mostly midtempo. You’ll bop your head consistently, but there’s not much that will make you get up and dance, or conversely, totally mellow you out. The exceptions are the guitar-heavy “Rusty Halo” (which has a vibe not unlike early Police) and the tender acoustic ballad “I’m Yours”, which is a little too mushy for it’s own good. While the album is cohesive as a whole, they manage to cram in everything from the anthemic “Fall for Anything” (very U2 vibe on this one) to the hit single “Breakeven”, which contains an anthemic verse melody and an addictive falsetto chorus. The only major party foul on this record is the song “If You See Kay”. The song itself is pretty boring, but the title is kinda immature and necessary.
The Script isn’t going to blow you away, but their debut album is pretty decent. The songs are (for the most part) well-constructed if a bit on the generic side. As far as middle-of-the-road pop music goes, you could do a lot worse than these Irish blokes.
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