Single Review: The Script – ‘For The First Time’

Okay, so it’s a little known fact that a lot of popular music is influenced by the singer/band’s own lives and experiences, which can often mean it takes time for an new album because, as Avril Lavigne’s would say, she “needs to live in order to get inspiration for my lyrics”.

The Script have had two years since their début eponymous album celebrated Gold certification so, this will give the three Irish lads plenty of time to come up with something modern and entertaining like the ever-charming ‘Man Who Can’t Be Moved’ or the modern rock classic follow-up ‘Breakeven’. Now, the lads are Irish, and we all know that the dreaded ‘R’ word (no, not ‘rape’) has hit Ireland a bit harder than the rest of the UK, so it would seem quite obvious for them to write songs about the hard times in their home land.

This is exactly what they’ve done but, long story short, it seems like they concentrated more on how they would gather sympathy from the fact the album was influenced by “recession-struck Ireland” than the actual song itself.

Well, a modern rock classic it is not. I can see why The Script are going all out to convince us they’re this “big, grown up, mature band” with big, grown up, mature songs like ‘For The First Time’, but seriously, anyone who’s heard The Hoosiers unreleased material before they got signed will see they’ve got just as much maturity in their songs yet manage to make it fun at the same time. My point being, The Hoosiers clearly are a fun, wonky-pop band who keep their more serious stuff to themselves and their fans, so that the public are getting the most feel-good, uplifting rock/pop anthems like ‘Choices’, or new single ‘Unlikely Hero’ (I seriously recommend checking this out).

The Script should take a leaf out of The Hoosiers’ book: they should record all the meaningful tracks and all the heartfelt ballads about forbidden/unrequited/long-distance love and release songs that are going to lift their listener out of the depressing pit of money worries and real life angst.

Music is supposed to be a form of escapism unmatched by any form of the mainstream media; we do not need reminding that “these times are hard” in a time where we can clearly see the economy falling apart around us. Surely they should’ve got the hint when they looked at the people they were going into chart battle with (Alexandra, Alesha, McFly) that morbid, dreary ballads are the last thing people want to listen to: we want to be lifted out our troubles, anxiety and worries; we want music that takes us away from the hustle and bustle of every day life, not music that makes us want to drown our sorrows along with Danny.

The Script act like their the only ones on the receiving end of this recession.

Danny sounds very tired on this record; maybe it’s to encapsulate the vibe, but that really only works in comedic songs. He sounds recycled, and so does the music: it’s almost impossible to come up with something original nowadays, not because of lack of quality (although it’s a HUGE factor) but because everything’s been done before, so it infuriates me when people say “Oh look at that gay song it’s basically copying ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’ , plus a bit of ‘Q’ by whoever2.

No. That’s not copying. It’s what normally happens in music.

But the problem for The Script is, whilst ‘For The First Time’ may not sound exactly like another, far better modern rock classic that goes by the name of ‘Chasing Cars’ (particularly in the musical section), it sounds like it’s trying too hard to be. Once the electric guitars kick in it sounds like a watered down ‘Chasing Cars’ with a couple of “Ooh”s that sound like they were ripped from another song chucked on top.

Oh, now that’s depressing. It’s just reminded me I need to complete my EMA form…

For all it’s sincere qualities, it’s an exhausted concept the song itself takes forever to reach anything that could be classed as remotely ‘catchy’, leaving us to be painfully subdued to Danny’s voice which, on this record is nowhere near as soothing as his previous songs: he sounds like he just been hung.

Usually, a song like this would get 2 stars, purely because it’s trying to break the chain of repetitive dance/pop trash in the Top 10 with something that’s been sorely missed from the charts for a long time, and I’d leave the lower ratings for songs that I really didn’t like, like ‘The Club Is Dead’. But considering The Script’s musical output until now has been actually very good, this is quite a mis-step for the new, “take us seriously… please?”, vibe I’m getting from them.

Rating: 1.5 STARS

Download: September 6, 2010 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: ‘Science & Faith’

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