20 March 2010

[I contributed this post to a fabulous music blog called Pop+Nation.]

London-based Irish rock band The Script did not always go by that name. Nor did they dabble in the rock/pop-rock genre. Back in 1996, Danny O'Donoghue and Mark Sheehan were part the boyband MyTown together with two other guys. I remember loving their song Now That I Found You. They enjoyed limited success in the UK and Ireland. Come 2001, the duo was joined by Glen Power and The Script is born.

Their self-titled debut album was released 8 August 2008 [08-08-08, get it?] in Ireland. It has 11 tracks (13 for the Japanese release including Live Like We're Dying and a live track) and released 5 singles. It was nominated for Choice Music Prize. The album was released in the US 17 March 2009.

We Cry is the debut single for the band. It was released 25 April 2008. It is said that this was inspired by Danny O'Donoghue's personal experiences. It peaked at #9 in the Irish Singles Charts. The song talks about teenage pregnancies, broken dreams, missed opportunities, and ambitions. It is really sad and gloomy. But it's strength is in the lyrics. It is a bit wordy but the message is powerful. It is reminiscent of The Black Eyed Peas' "Where is the Love". Before the Worst is released as the fifth single from the album. It is about a girl leaving the guy and before they both move on, they both go back to the memories before things went wrong. Like the previous song, this one has a dark mood to it without going "too emo". Talk You Down was released 16 March 2009 as the 4th single. The piano intro with the strings in the background is haunting. The transition to a faster tempo with the drum beats gives this rock song a more pop vibe for the pop lovers out there.

The Man Who Can't Be Moved is the second single to be released. And one of my favorite tracks off the album. It is also the debut single of The Script in the USA. It gained airplay from the CBS show "Ghostwhisperer". Compared to the first three tracks, this one is slower and has a lighter vibe to it. It is just a sweet song about a man who never leaves the place where he met a girl so if ever she decides to come back, she'll know where to find him. Breakeven is another favorite track for me. Released as the third single, it reached the top spot on the Australian Airplay Chart. The song reminds me of The Goo Goo Dolls alot. Relationship issues seem to be a common thread in The Script songs. This one talks about the imbalance in a (failed) relationship - how the girl has moved on whilst the guy has not. Rusty Halo has a taste of electro pop-rock sound. I really liked this the first time I heard it - probably because I like electronic music. If you do, then you should check this out.

The End Where I Begin a haunting track. It picks up in the middle. If the previous songs hadn't already, this song shows what great songwriters and arrangers they are. reminded me of the intro of U2's "Beautiful Day". The piano backing is really awesome and once again, I have to applaud the song construction. For a change, however, this is not about a relationship between the guy singing and the girl he's singing about. Instead, he's lecturing her about what he sees - falling in love easily, sleeping around, not loving herself. If You See Kay is probably about a real girl. I was a bit weirded out at first but the chorus is really sweet. I'm Yours is a nice change from the rest of the album. It's guitar-driven, acoustic love song. It is a sweet/sexy song; hell, I'd like a guy to sing this to me. Anybody There is a bonus track to the worldwide release of the album. This song closes out the album with an epic strings-driven backing track and as always, a powerful message.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to and reviewing this album. I love the skill in songwriting and song construction displayed on all songs. They do tend to get wordy (think of Jason Mraz). I might want more variety in sound - more songs like Anybody There or The Man Who Can't Be Moved. The whole album is truly worth the listen.

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Live Like We're Dying despite the cliche title is probably my favorite of all The Script songs I've heard. Released as a bonus track/ B-side on the Japanese release of their album, this was picked up as the debut single for American Idol season 8 winner Kris Allen. Critics say it's the "possibly the best first post-American Idol single yet by an American Idol champion". And I agree. It appeals to a wide audience and it shows a sure direction where Kris is going with his music.


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