x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

The Script's #3

Rather than party-friendly pop, this album is curiously beset by moody hip-hop, as the singer Danny O'Donoghue mumbles about love, loss and damaged lives.

The Script
#3
Epic
***

Famed for heartstring-tugging guitar anthems, The Script looked set to take a more poppy, Maroon 5-style path on their latest album.

The band's lead singer Danny O'Donoghue is a coach on the reality show The Voice UK (Maroon 5's Adam Levine is his US equivalent), and fellow judge will.i.am is conspicuously present on the album's lead single, a convenient Olympics cash-in called Hall of Fame.

In fact, O'Donoghue appears to have been more influenced by the British rapper Plan B than the Black Eyed Peas star. Rather than party-friendly pop, #3 is curiously beset by moody hip-hop, as he mumbles about love, loss and damaged lives, before launching into typically emphatic choruses.

They even apply the formula to If You Could See Me Now, a tribute to two of the Dublin band members' late parents.

There are more traditional Script songs along the way: O'Donoghue is in fine, emotive voice on Six Degrees of Separation, although the feel-good closer Millionaires is a little incongruous. "Singing our hearts out … like we're millionaires," hollers the super-rich frontman, who, on this record, really should have sung his heart out more.