The Script

Science & Faith

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Despite bursting onto the scene in 2008 with endorsements from Pharrell Williams and a history of working with R&B producers Teddy Riley and Rodney Jerkins, Dublin three-piece the Script have since become one of the biggest bands in the U.K. thanks instead to their MOR brand of soft rock that the likes of Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty failed to translate from the States over ten years previously. Following an 18-month absence, during which the previous five singles from their chart-topping eponymous debut never left the airwaves, Danny O'Donoghue, Marc Sheehan, and Glen Power return with their follow-up, Science & Faith. Based on the struggle in relationships between men and women rather than the religious themes the title suggests, the trio's second album isn't exactly a radical departure, with previous producers Andrew Frampton and Steve Kipner back on board for another set of radio-friendly harmonious guitar pop tracks, all of which sound like they could have been lifted from several other artists' back catalog. Indeed, opening track "You Won't Feel a Thing" veers into the stadium rock territory of fellow Irishmen U2, lead single "For the First Time" is the kind of heartfelt acoustic ballad Snow Patrol have based a career on, and the likes of "Exit Wounds" and "Long Gone and Moved On" echo the more commercial moments of Coldplay's X&Y. Only the military-esque rhythms of "This = Love" offer anything remotely original, with even the bandmembers themselves admitting that the album is more of a continuation of their sound than a transition. Of course, there's no denying that the Script know their way around a melody, and the likes of the soaring string-led "Walk Away" and hook-laden heartbreak of "Nøthing" feature the kind of epic killer choruses that helped their first album shift a million copies. But swamped by the same safe, repetitive, and unadventurous production, the majority of the ten tracks are indistinguishable from one another, making Science & Faith a solid but pedestrian and uninspiring affair.

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