The Script’s “No Sound Without Silence” album touches upon love, heartbreak, struggles and living life to its fullest. How does this differ from the band’s previous albums? It doesn’t.
The Script’s newest album proves to be very characteristic of its sound; if you are a regular listener of the Irish trio’s well-known songs such as “Nothing,” “Break Even” and “For the First Time,” then The Script has certainly delivered again. But for those who do not find the band’s pop-rock type of music appealing, beware that these newly released songs offer nothing novel.
The album opens with an explosion of instrumental background music and powerful lyrics in “No Good in Goodbye,” a single released earlier in July, that centers around heartbreak and painful breakups. The song is slightly more synthetic and dreamy than most of The Script’s music, resembling Coldplay’s mix of ambient sounds and deep vocals. Although it deals with “the ache from heartbreak,” the track’s strong beats, piano and mixed instrumentals combine to create an ultimately hopeful feeling.
Just as relatable but much more catchy, “Superheroes,” the second track, is easily the most appealing one on the album. The melodious song, destined to be a hit, counteracts and transforms any pessimism you felt after hearing “No Good in Goodbye.” It begins with a short introduction of string instruments and a faint piano riff that builds anticipation through Danny O’Donoghue’s soft, soothing vocals. The chorus offers that satisfying instrumental explosion at which the Script is famously adept. The track then continues this balance between louder, more complex musical sections and simpler, softer verses to produce a catchy and inspirational whole.
Following the theme of suffering, “Man on a Wire” compares getting over an ex to walking a tightrope — the only thing to do is to move on in order to keep from falling. While the comparison is certainly accurate and resonates with many listeners, the upbeat music too closely resembles the first track and causes them to blend together into one vague sound in one’s mind.
“We’ve only one life to live. So love what you do.” Sound familiar?
Upon hearing this line and lines similar to this throughout The Script’s “It’s Not Right for You,” I immediately thought back to the much too similar single, “Live Like We’re Dying,” which the band performed in 2009. Having loved the catchy tune, I found “It’s Not Right for You” to be a cheap imitation.
Right alongside this, “The Energy Never Dies” never shows enough originality to stand on its own two feet. With its relaxing guitar melody and powerful beats, this song is the type you might find people belting, but it is not necessarily the most memorable song on the album.
While the album certainly is stereotypical of The Script’s usual songs, there is one exception. “Flares, — initially meant to be just another love song — took a dark, but meaningful turn when O’Donoghue’s mother experienced a brain aneurysm. The event brought a deeper sentiment to the song, a dramatic track punctuated by the moving piano playing in the background. The Script’s usual guitar and bass instrumentals are largely scaled back, and the song relies instead on the piano riff and a buildup of string instruments alongside a faint chorus. By some great miracle, the lead singer’s mother pulled through, inspiring the heart-wrenching lyrics and passionate, ranged vocals. This song is truly uncharacteristic of The Script and proved to be an emotional and well-executed piece.
Another out-of-the-box song worth listening to is “Without Those Songs.” O’Donoghue’s pitch is slightly deeper than in the most of the album’s tracks and is accompanied by a guitar, string instruments and later a rhythmic drumbeat. A touch of harmonizing vocals makes it a perfect song for a day on the beach or a night around the campfire. The lyrics are not altogether memorable, and the track falls short of the Script’s ordinary big-hit material.
The final song is “Howl at the Moon,” leaving the album on a surprisingly more slow-paced and mellower note. O’Donoghue’s deep voice is again showcased here, yet it is contrasted by a much more high-pitched chorus and violins that add dimension to the sound. The song keeps a steady rhythm that subtly builds in intensity before breaking into the chorus for one last ambient journey through the night.
For the most part, the Script seems to fall back on a pop-rock script that’s been heard too many times over. The majority of the tracks are boringly characteristic of The Script — they’re cute and catchy, but not creative or varied enough to be deemed noteworthy. Although the album is disappointingly homogenous, it still proves to be a thoughtful collection with meaning embedded in its songs and title, which is something not often considered in our generation’s popular music,
“No Songs Without Silence” may not be the most entertaining listen from beginning to end, but anybody can relate to the strong message of love, loss and recovery that permeates the entire album.