It’s been a decidedly difficult year for Irish band The Script with both front-man Danny O’Donoghue and drummer Glen Power losing their mum and dad respectively. However, despite the hardship and the heartbreak, the trio, completed by guitarist Mark Sheehan, have long since proven themselves to be the masters of chanelling their emotions into their music – and they do so again on their sixth studio album Sunsets & Full Moons.
“Something Unreal”, which the band previewed a few days before the album was officially released yesterday, starts things off, and is followed by the collections’ lead single “The Last Time” which is sure to go down a storm at the trio’s live shows next year.
The most honest and emotive track on the album comes in the form of “Run Through Walls”, which Danny has said he wrote just a week after the death of his mum. The lyrics read almost like a diary; a whirlpool of thoughts and feelings and of deep and heartfelt appreciation for those who were there for him at such a difficult time. As someone who still struggles with the loss of their dad two years ago, I’m not afraid to admit this song made me cry and has encouraged me to express my gratitude towards my friends more often.
“If You Don’t Love Yourself” is very much a self-love music mantra – both an admittance that people can and do treat themselves badly and judge themselves harshly and perhaps also a call for those who listen to the track – and everyone in general – to be kinder to themselves with the lyric: “you don’t lose if you learn from ye mistakes” being one sure to resonate with a lot of people. “Hurt People Hurt People” meanwhile has a VERY honest title – anyone who’s ever had a bad word said about them by anyone else will agree – and the power with which Danny sings: “Don’t worry I know just how you feel, I’ve been hurt before” is testament to how true such a statement and experience is and has been for him.
The tempo of the album slows somewhat with the arrival of “Same Time”, but with the instrumentation stripped back, the thought-provoking lyrics and Danny’s delivery of them take centre stage and present the listener with a song they can sit back and reflect on. “Underdog” will strike a chord with anyone who has ever been bullied or belittled; told they can’t do something or that they won’t or wouldn’t amount to anything. It’s a rousing reminder – and one I personally appreciate – that more often than not, the underdogs come out on top and they’ll always be better than the bullies or those that mistreat others around them.
Anyone who’s been in a powerful, meaningful relationship with someone that’s ended, need it be years ago or fairly recently, will identify with the lyrics of “The Hurt Game” and for this reason alone the track is easily a highlight of the album; no band can write and sing about love and heartbreak quite like The Script can.
Summer might be over but there’s a distinctly ‘laid back’ feel to closing number “Summer Nights” and as a result of the simplistic instrumentation, it’s not hard to imagine thousands upon thousands of people providing a track long hand-clap backdrop to the song as they sing along when it’s performed on the bands’ tour next year.
While many artists might find themselves struggling to maintain both their fan-base and artistic standards after more than a decade in the industry, Sunsets and Full Moons is proof that The Script are still as strong, as relevant and as honest as ever – something which in this day and age is very rare and special indeed.