Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

The Script – For the First Time

Playing the piano, that’s tremendous too…


Rebecca Toennessen: When did ‘alternative rock’ stop meaning anything at all? This isn’t rock and I don’t know what it’s being an alternative to, but according to the internet, that’s what The Script are. This song is as bland and inoffensive as the charting bands in the early nineties that my brain’s definition of alternative rock wasn’t.

David Raposa: I guess these lads have already realized their CW teen drama dream (courtesy of a 90210 guest spot), so what’s left except to further refine their fat-free Keane / Maroon 5 blend in preparation for unavoidable ubiquity and total world domination?

Iain Mew: A regurgitated “The Scientist” makes the appropriate half-hearted sad faces behind The Script’s singer, who sings things like “We don’t know how we got into this mess/Is it God’s test?” I guess it’s meant to be about the recession or something. Still, compared to the overbearing creepiness of their previous work, everything about this is so deliberately, painstakingly grey that they’re not even that irritating anymore. The “Ooh-ooh-oohs” echoing into the distance are even kind of pretty.

Michaelangelo Matos: This is the most patently phony shit I’ve ever heard. It makes “I Dig Rock and Roll Music” sound like “God Save the Queen” and “Hey, Soul Sister” sound like “Ain’t No Way”. The note is struck right at the top: “I’m drinking Jack all alone in my local bar”. Notwithstanding the fact that anyone who says “my local bar” without naming it is a tourist at life, Danny O’Donoghue sounds at all turns like he’s trying to sell you a new cellular plan while slipping your girlfriend his number. Looking the song up on iTunes to divine the track’s label, the only thing that came up was Episode 007 of the eBusinessMap Podcast. You be the judge.

Martin Skidmore: The vocal wants to be soulful, but he’s a really weak singer, struggling with the tune and the rhythm at times. I suspect they would like to be a cross between Van Morrison and maybe U2, but they end up sounding more like a less well-produced Coldplay, which is a tragic outcome.

Jonathan Bogart: When Coldplay’s “Yellow” first came out, I liked it a lot for the suspended-in-air quality of the repetitive chord structure, a breath of fresh air in a radio-rock wasteland of mall-punk and nu-metal. Little did I suspect that it would become the template for all future radio-rock anthems. The Script’s version of Coldplay tries for some post-recession working-class bona fides, but they’re just pounding the same chord again and again like every other “inspirational” band.

Doug Robertson: It’d be quite lazy and unoriginal to review this by saying “This script needs a re-write”, but…

Katherine St Asaph: I’m still pissed that we get to import one new Irish group now, when the country teems with talent, and we squandered the pick on this: rock the consistency of wilted spinach, with mildly interesting lyrics but no joy. When you’re talking about your cheap-booze-soaked second first time with your girlfriend, shouldn’t you sound happy about it?

Mallory O’Donnell: Bullshit like this always staggers me, but then I believe that if you are going to bother with writing, performing, recording and releasing a song you should have at least one original idea somewhere in the mix. There are so many lyrical and musical cliches and redundant stylistic touches here that I wonder if this isn’t in fact Christian rock. Turns out to be Irish, which makes about as much sense. My people have long churned out this kind of sentimental corn, but no matter how long and how hard you mash it will never become whiskey. Not that we need any more of that, but at least it could get you drunk.

7 Responses to “The Script – For the First Time”

  1. When did ‘alternative rock’ stop meaning anything at all?

    A quarter-century ago, at least? (But yeah, it’s somehow managed to continue to get more and more meaningless ever since. Which is kind of amazing, when you think about it.)

  2. Listening again, a 5 was way too generous.

  3. I kept going:

  4. I’d like to lower my score so I’m not the mort giving this thing its highest grade, plz.

  5. Only if I can too. (I’m above average, it seems; a 4 like this usually means “this is far too boring to dislike properly.)

  6. I only listened once, fwiw, and it didn’t totally get my dander up, just made me think “meh,” so I probably would have been with David R and Katherine on the middling but not devastating score front, if I had thought of anything to say. Probably would have agreed with Mallory, though, in her saying that this is just run-of-the-mill innocuous boring Irish “rock” — part of what un-inspired me is that bands who sound exactly like this come through New York all the time (I know, because I used to hear their demos or CDs and get paid above my usual editor rates for tossing off snarky show previews about them in the Voice— those were the days) — as often as not playing the little Irish bars around Sunnyside, Queens, where I used to live. And yeah, they’re uniformly awful, but so what? Only difference with this one, I guess, is this is a genuine hit. Still, I think I’ve heard worse. Not gonna go back and listen again to make sure, though.

  7. “Used to sample their demos or CDs”, I should say — hardly ever made it through more than a couple songs, are you kidding? — which is part of what made the snark cost-effective. (Actually, pretty sure I’d have given this a “3”.)