The Script, a three-piece typically associated with nostalgic ballads, will be breaking hearts everywhere because, “For The First Time,” it has released a shoddy album.

The Ireland-based, pop rock band released its sixth album, Sunsets & Full Moons, on Friday. The nine-track LP runs just over 30 minutes and solidifies the thought most fans have been agonizing over for some time now: The Script has officially lost its spark.

The Script — comprised of frontman Danny O’Donoghue, guitarist Mark Sheehan and bassist and drummer Glen Power — was one of the lucky ones, as it obtained success almost immediately. Its first album, which was self-titled and released in 2008, contained two of the biggest hits of that time frame: “Breakeven” and “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved.” 

The band’s sophomore album, Science & Faith, which was released in 2010, was its pinnacle, perfectly capturing the desolate feelings that come hand-in-hand with life’s inevitable unfortunate moments. After 2010, The Script gradually began to transition from pop rock into more mainstream pop with breakout hits including “Hall of Fame” in 2012 and “Superheroes” in 2014. 

The band made the modification work — until now.

Sunsets & Full Moons comes during a year of affliction for the frontman. His mother was buried on Valentine’s Day 2019, 12 years to the day her husband was buried, according to O’Donoghue’s interview with Apple Music. His father’s death came a year-and-a-half before the band’s debut was released. Both of these albums were constructed during devastating times, and O’Donoghue decided to channel his pain into music. Though it worked quite well the first time around, perhaps the frontman should’ve taken more time to heal instead of churning out an unpolished composition.

With only nine songs, Sunsets & Full Moons already carries problems before even diving into its content. That small number means the album should be compact and nearly unflawed, but two-thirds of it miss the mark entirely. The chorus of “If You Don’t Love Yourself” too closely resembles RuPaul’s famous quote, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” and the track tries too hard. “Hurt People Hurt People,” despite its catchiness, is exceptionally cheesy. “Hot Summer Nights” simply sounds like a filler track. The Script seems to be following in the footsteps of Imagine Dragons, veering away from what makes it exceptional and choosing instead to create mainstream, ingenuine music. Three songs on this album, however, provide glimpses of the splendor The Script graced the world with a decade ago.

Here are the best three songs from Sunsets & Full Moons

3. “The Hurt Game”

“The Hurt Game” sounds like it would play at the end of a typical chick-flick where the guy finally realizes he’s falling for a girl who’s always been in love with him, so he chases after her before she gets on her flight and moves away forever. The actual song, however, is about the reality of love: it has its constant ups and downs, and it won’t get better if effort isn’t put in from both sides. O’Donoghue’s smooth voice blends perfectly with a classic Script-esque piano riff as he tries to convince his significant other there’s no hurt in trying to mend mistakes: “The hurt game; we throw blame, the worst pain / We love hard; we get scarred; it’s insane / Can’t win for losing in the hurt game.”

2. “Same Time”

“Same Time” encapsulates the harrowing realization that you haven’t completely moved on from your ex and somehow knowing they feel the same way. O’Donoghue, with his most controlled vocals on the album, guarantees his ex keeps him in the back of her mind and that their love will never completely fade: “Somehow I know you’ll be thinking of me on your wedding day / Just before it starts, in the back of your heart / Somehow I know that you’re thinking of me.” The layered vocals in the chorus personify O’Donoghue’s sentiment flawlessly.

1. “Run Through Walls”

A melancholy yet soothing acoustic guitar welcomes the listener into O’Donoghue’s bleak state of mind. After losing both his parents, O’Donoghue has become dependent on his close friends, who he admits are the only reason he keeps going: “You always show up at the perfect time / There’s no one born with X-ray eyes / There’s no way to know what’s on my mind / But you always say the words that save my life.” The emotion is evident from the first guitar strum, and it’s a tear-jerker that’s reminiscient of the band’s early discography, which makes it the best on Sunsets & Full Moons.

Rating: 2.5/5

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