Stay with me on this one.
So obviously, The Script aren't trying to impress any stuck-up snots, so I'm not going to jump on a high horse and point my sword. And there is something to be said for making music that a) you love and/or b)14-year-old girls love. Because if its both, well then you will probably sell a lot of records and concert tickets, AND have fun doing it, so why not?
From a critical standpoint, The Script
sounds like a mix of the mid-to-late nineties college scene, southern reggae-infused jam bands, Maroon Five, and Ryan Tedder hit-machine prowess. All of these things are nowhere near in vogue with the guys fawning over Animal Collective and weird shit coming from Brooklyn, but they are in vogue for whats left of radio play and actually selling music for profit. I won't argue against "We Cry" being a catchy song. I will argue that all the other catchy songs on the record sound exactly like it, and also kind of like the refrain of "No Scrubs."
Actually I'm surprised "Cry" came out before "Breakeven," which is easily the best pop song on the record. Best chorus, best build, best layers. I understand the aesthetic of "shitty-tape-noise" and stuff, but avant-indie people can learn a thing from the way these guys (i.e. their producers) take a song with four chords and make it sound bigger than it actually is. That isn't to say a lot of smaller bands don't do this exceedingly well; Ramona Falls did it in an amazing way with "I Say Fever" and Land Of Talk did all over the place on the Fun and Laughter EP
. But others fail to make their musings interesting with the simple tools of old: adding different instruments, making the chorus vocals noticeably different, etc. These things help even the most simple of songwriting sound like a hit.
Then again, most of the bands we love don't try to write a "hit," its a term used vigorously by the majors/pop critics but rarely with the same connotation by critics of indie music. For those of us who still appreciate the power and influence of pop (which I most certainly do) then paying attention to The Script is probably something valuable, if only to understand what is going on in the world of easily digestible rock from new artists. They will, however, be snuffed by Pitchfork.
If you are looking for intellectual stimulation, this may not be for you. This is like reading Where's Waldo?
. But truth be told, I still have all those books on my shelf somewhere. -joe puglisi
The Script on Myspace