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Review | “the dull embrace of sedate safety” the Script – Sunsets & Full Moons

The Last Mixed Tape reviews Sunsets & Full Moons, the latest studio album from the Script.

In a year where Fontaines D.C. proclaimed that “Dublin in the rain is mine”, the Script’s Sunsets & Full Moons feels seismically out of touch. Two years ago I stated in my review of Freedom Child that the pop-rock band was being interesting for all the wrong reasons. This time around, that curiosity has been replaced by the dull embrace of sedate safety in what is yet another Script-by-numbers record.

From the opening chimes of piano on ‘Something Unreal’ we are back in familiar territory and for the duration of Sunsets & Full Moons this is where we will remain. Drifting in a soundscape of overly-produced, flat-pack furniture music that clicks into place because that’s the formula. The same can be said lyrically, as every line seems to be written by a pop-music cliché generator, “I’ve been drinking till I’m sober, I’ve been getting real high”.

Sunsets & Full Moons is a Script album in every possible sense of the term. ‘Run Through Walls’, ‘Same Time’ and ‘The Hurt Game’ (‘In the Hurt Game, you can’t win for losing’) all could have been written and produced in 2008. There’s no growth, no difference, nothing to separate this album from what’s come before in terms of sound. And while formulas last for a reason, they do eventually fall to the law of diminishing returns.

But Sunsets & Full Moons isn’t terrible. Not by a long shot. Although that may be its central problem, it’s all harmless and garners little to no reaction. Songs like ‘The Last Time’ could fly by you unnoticed because they are part of the larger milieu of tracks that sound exactly like it. The record goes by in a blur because there’s nothing to hang on to, nothing that stands out. It all just exists.

In the past, I would have railed against this sort of commercial mainstream offering and the machinery that pushes it (which still persists). But things have changed. Now bands like the Script and their particular brand of sonic wallpaper have been overshadowed no matter how hard it is thrust upon us in the mainstream. Irish act like Fontaines D.C, Sorcha Richardson, whenyoung and countless others are now on a global stage showcasing a very different side to our scene. One that speaks to who we are as we enter a new decade. In this context, Sunsets and Full Moons is only interesting because of just how dated it sounds in comparison.

Is it better than Freedom Child? Yes, if only for the fact we are spared more of the band’s shallow political musings. But therein lies the trick in the tail. Freedom Child was interesting because it was so misguided in its aspirations, there was a rubbernecking value to the record, whereas Sunsets & Full Moons is just another blink and you’ll miss it affair.

Rating:4/10

Sunsets & Full Moons by the Script is out now.

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