The Script are back! With a meagre two years having gone by since their last record (seriously, I’m used to a huge waiting game like with Lady Gaga) the Irish three-piece return with their sixth studio album, ‘Sunsets and Full Moons’.
But how does the record shape up? To my ears, it’s a cohesive celebration of everything we know about The Script, albeit a slightly safe venture.
First of all, just look at how pretty that album art is! If you’ve read my ‘Lover’ review, you’ll know that I’m a sucker for an album with a pretty cover; and ‘Sunsets & Full Moons’ is a beautiful addition to their discography. It’s just so damn pretty.
I’m not gonna lie: when the band debuted their lead single, ‘The Last Time’ I was… disappointed. It sounded like a deep cut, a filler track in the depths of their musical catalogue – not the lead track to lead us into a glittering new Script era. And don’t even get me started on that whiney “whoooAaa” droning. As time has gone by, though, the track’s grown on me. Is it groundbreaking? No, not by any means. But it is quintessential Script, and for that reason I love it. In short: Past me was foolish, and ‘The Last Time’ is a pure bop.
After that they dropped ‘Something Unreal’, a safe yet brilliant track that epitomizes everything we love about The Script: a catchy hook, a fresh sound and a gut-punching, yet relatable, meaning. The Script have always sung about relatable themes, from unemployment and unrequited love to loneliness, and this record is no different. The sound of the track is more anthem-like than the rest of the record, opening up the album to a high-energy, pumping tune.
‘Run Through Walls’ is a highlight of the album; a testimony to the friendships that lift us up when we feel low. “You’ve got the strength to carry me through it, My shield of steel when I’m too weak to fight,” Danny sings on the track; touching on themes raised in ‘Army of Angels’. It’s such a cute little track that makes you take stock of those you’ve got in your life. Friendship goals. I also love the repeated line “friends don’t let you do stupid things”, followed by a quiet, soft and tender “…alone”.
From the first note of the piano, I loved ‘Underdog’. It’s like a perfect blend of sound of ‘No Sound Without Silence’ and ‘Freedom Child’ – and I adore it. It’s a self-empowering, uplifting track with a bite in its production – all without coming across as forced or cringe. “This is for the highs, that our eyes could not believe in, the woes, the low of lows, we don’t give in, no, for the ones who keep holdin’ on.”
Aside from being a bit on the nose in the chorus, ‘If You Don’t Love Yourself’ is another self-reflective tune with an impactful message behind it that we’ve come to know and love from the band. The bridge, especially, features some beautiful imagery: “Every twist and turn that our life takes, Like a boat in the sea when the wave breaks, Every night is the dawn of a new day.”
‘Sunsets & Full Moons’ is a cohesive collection of quintessential Script. It’s a tad on the mellow side compared to their past records; there’s no huge anthem-inducing, fist-pumping track to be found here. Instead, it’s a chill journey of self-reflection. Each track blends into each other wonderfully – nothing feels out-of-place, or jarring.
When I first opened up the album, I was a tad disappointed to only see nine tracks with a run-time of 30 minutes and 23 seconds. After listening to it in full, though, I can see why. Each song has a place and a purpose on the record, and anything being added would dilute that.
The production, as always, is stellar. Partly produced by lead singer Danny O’Donogue, it’s full of subtleties that make the album shine. From the fading Irish pipes in ‘The Last Time’, to the pulsing beat in ‘Underdog’, the folds of sound complement their voices perfectly.
While ‘Freedom Child’ was a rebellious entry, in terms of both theme and sound, into their plethora of records – a flower in a loaded gun – ‘Sunsets and Full Moons’ is a self-reflective entry – focusing on the human side of the band; from friendships to mental health.
With this album, The Script found themselves in somewhat of a difficult position. Did they stray from their core sound, ala ‘Freedom Child’, and risk alienating their loyal fan base further, or did they rehash their past tunes and risk not growing as artists? With ‘Sunsets and Full Moons’, The Script managed to capture some of their past magic across the nine tracks – but, alas, none of them particularly shine in their own right like their past albums have.
While each track is good, the short album feels more like an EP or a side project than an actual album. It’s nowhere near as bold as their previous records; it’s simply a mellow collection of nine songs. For me, personally, ‘Sunsets & Full Moons’ misses a bit of The Script magic overall; despite being a solid record. Having said that, each of the tracks are beautiful, and filled with beautiful little lyrics. I’ll be adding most of them to my ‘mellow’ playlist, and I can’t wait to see the band take to the stage in London next year.
For more on music, check out everything we know about Lady Gaga’s upcoming album, LG6. Or check out my review of Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’.
Album highlights: ‘Run Through Walls’, ‘Underdog’ and ‘Something Unreal’.
Grab yourself a copy of ‘Sunsets & Full Moons’ from Amazon down below.