Music

Album Review: The Script's 'Freedom Child'

It’s been three years since Dublin-born three-piece, The Script, graced the world with an album… And they’ve sure proved that it’s been far, far too long.

Their last four albums, ‘The Script‘ (2008), ‘Science and Faith‘ (2010), ‘#3‘ (2012) and ‘No Sound Without Silence‘ (2014) all topped the charts on their home turf of Ireland, as well as all-bar-one in the UK. The albums have splashed out addictive singles like ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved,’ ‘For The First Time,’ ‘Superheroes‘ and the lad’s only UK number 1, with fellow The Voice UK coach, will.i.am, ‘Hall of Fame.’

But now, the boys are back with ‘Freedom Child,’ which hit number one this week. And for good reason!

Image result for the script

Fans knew from the word go that the band’s sound has changed. No longer singing about leaving the door on the latch ‘if you ever come back,’ the lad’s first single, ‘Rain,’ cemented the acknowledgment that they didn’t expect to come back after three years and release similar sounding tunes and the fans to eat it up. ‘Rain‘ is a summer track, with Danny O’Donaghue’s signature vocals echoing the ‘oo-oo-oos‘ on the chorus. He sings of heartache as he gets over a break-up. But unlike the painful lyrics and beats on the likes of ‘Breakeven,’ the song makes you want to go out and get over your ex.

The album’s opening track is a reggae-inspired beat that the lads showcased to fans on their mini tour of the UK and Ireland last month, ‘No Man Is An Island.’ Probably the furthest from the band’s original music, it’s a surprising breath of fresh air as the beat of the chorus hits your ears for the first time. However, the lyrics that made the boys famous are still there, as Danny sings: ‘Just a broken man on the shore, still hurting from the one before.’

Perhaps the only track that wouldn’t feel out of place on one of the previous records is band favourite ‘Arms Open.’ Danny sings about being there for the one he loves, whether it’s a lover, friend or a member of family. It has elements of ‘You Won’t Feel A Thing‘ from ‘Science and Faith,’ as his eerie vocals penetrate the clickity-click of the first minute, before they delve into a signature anthem-like chorus.

I, personally, have mad love for ‘Mad Love.’ A R&B style beat on a track about not wanting to let go of the ones you love. The first verse has you enticed before Danny breaks into the chorus: ‘Whoever said if you love someone you should set them free, they don’t know s*** about you and me.’ I love when guitarist Mark Sheehan’s lyrics echo, especially: ‘I’m your great white, you’re my piranha, we don’t give a -, we love the drama, I’m your snakebite, you’re my charmer.’

Wonders‘ talks about quitting your job and forgetting about everyday life, ‘mak[ing] memories, not dreams.’ Danny sings: ‘I don’t want to go through the gates of heaven thinking what we might have missed, don’t wanna waste another day we’re given ’cause we’re scared of taking risks.’ Mark then jumps in again, going through all the things they’re going to do, including dancing in Rio in the sun, walking The Great Wall of China and seeing the eight world wonders.

The boys may be in their thirties now, but that doesn’t stop them referencing Tinder and other single-people woes in ‘Love Not Lovers.’ They go through the different outlets and pains of not being in a relationship. ‘Eden‘ depicts biblical references as they compare finding their lover to finding the secret paradise at the start of the bible.

The lads previewed songs from the album many months ago, including ‘Written In The Scars,’ a song about learning to deal with your problems, and ‘Divided States of America,’ which depicts their political views on the state of the world. Not surprisingly, after getting teased with these snippets, these seem to be many fan favourites.

Final track and album title, ‘Freedom Child,’ is about doing what you want and not letting anyone control you. The band recently revealed that the album title was a good depiction of today’s society, following the Manchester terrorist attacks. Mark said he wasn’t happy that music was targeted and felt like this title was relevant.

Can ‘Freedom Child‘ keep its number one spot? We hope so. They deserve it. Welcome back lads!

★★★★★

 

Bradd Chambers

Bradd Chambers

Award winning journalist and author of thriller novels.