Review Summary: I found the cure for bad music
I kid you not – listen to any
album immediately following The Script’s third effort, aptly titled #3
, and it will immediately sound better. I do not claim extensive knowledge in the science of sound, but I’ve tested this theory enough times to know that it is an extremely effective home remedy...just like mom used to make
. The first time #3
passed through my ears, it made Coheed and Cambria’s The Afterman: Ascension
sound like the artistic unveiling of a lifetime. Then I thought to myself, okay, but that album is actually pretty good
. So I continued to test my hypothesis, pitting it against the likes of The Black Eyed Peas’ The E.N.D.
, Britney Spears’ greatest hits collection, the new Hinder album, and finally a playlist featuring The Fray’s ‘How To Save A Life’ on repeat. Every single time, it felt as though I was hearing the Beatles for the first time. So while that is admittedly bad news for The Script, it would still seem ungrateful for me not to tip my hat off to Danny O’Donoghue for creating what might be the worst album of all time.
Let me preface my hatred for this album by explaining that it took me a long time to warm up to this band. I remember enjoying radio hits such as ‘Breakeven’ and ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved’ only to be turned off by their self-titled debut’s failure to match those songs’ quality at any other point. With the release of Science & Faith
, I almost made the mistake of dismissing them as a “singles band” before realizing that the album was actually fairly consistent across the board. So I wouldn’t say that I approached #3
with a negative outlook – it was actually quite the contrary. For the first time in my relationship with The Script, I actually had some expectations: a few decently crafted, poignant alt-rock tunes for the airwaves and tracks in between that didn’t leave the standouts flapping in the wind. It’s my fault, really, for being so trusting. As Danny O’Donoghue awkwardly fumbles through every single track with nauseating rap verses, completely forgettable choruses, and an almost negative presence of hooks, you too will find yourself looking for any way out you can find.
The main thing The Script always had going for them was their thoughtful lyrics and melodic, emotional delivery. Their tales of heartbreak were impossible not to relate to, from the unrequited love on ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved’ to the drunken phone calls attempting to “win the girl back” on ‘Nothing.’ #3
sees all of the band’s best traits get canned in favor of O’Donoghue’s inflated sense of self worth, as he infuses the vast majority of the record with his clumsy, rhythm-challenged rapping and laughable attempts at serious lyrical content. In ‘Give The Love Around’, he preaches about the future of our children: “We gotta change before the train leaves the station / And realize the revolution in a revelation.” In ‘Hall of Fame’, pointlessly featuring will.i.am, he presses on, “Do it for your people / Do it for your pride / How you ever gonna know if you never even try"” The only song containing lyrics that are hard to criticize is the moving tribute to O’Donoghue’s parents on ‘If You Could See Me Now’, but even then the musical competency and vocal delivery of the song is in grim shape. ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ seeks to step into the “breakup ballad” role that ‘Breakeven’ and ‘Nothing’ accomplished before, but it misses by a wide margin because of this god-awful chorus:
First, you think the worst is a broken heart
What's gonna kill you is the second part
And the third, Is when your world splits down the middle
And fourth, you're gonna think that you fixed yourself
Fifth, you see them out with someone else
And the sixth, is when you admit that you may have fucked up a little
The whole cutesy sing-by-numbers thing has been done before, and sadly, it’s been done better. Besides, anything that reminds me of The Plain White T’s ‘1, 2, 3, 4’ needs to remain as far away from my ears as possible. ‘Glowing’ and ‘Kaleidoscope’ are the closest things to traditional Script songs, and both falter due to a complete lack of anything
interesting occurring – at all. Scratch that, it goes beyond a lack of innovation – because let’s be honest with ourselves, who the fuck
expects that. The songs aren’t even enjoyable as guilty pleasure pop music. Every song from ‘Good Ol’ Days’ to ‘Millionaire’ can’t even be afforded the luxury of filler tags, because they simply don’t go away quietly – they insist on badgering you with annoying quirks, which usually end up coming in the form of O’Donoghue’s ever-prevalent rapping. Unfortunately, even when you wipe #3
clean of these types of musical atrocities, there’s still nothing but bland, lifeless music going on behind the scenes. It’s downright pathetic, especially for a group that has shown flashes of potential in the past.
Unless you plan on practicing my healing methods to improve other
atrocious music, it would be wise to steer clear of #3
. If there was anything musically, vocally, or lyrically redeeming about the album, I’d say at least give it a chance – but unfortunately, The Script has given me nothing to work with. From here, it’s just a matter of how long it takes this band to realize that they may have fucked up more than just a little.