The Script review: The boys go a bit Bono-lite

Freedom Child
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Artist: The Script
Genre: Pop
Label: Columbia

Five albums in, it's time to get political. The Script return with all the earnestness of Bono on an album full of both mixed messages and sounds. The punchy title track was written in response to one of their kids asking what terrorism was, but Divided States of America comes across as hokey and opportunistic – as does the dreadful box-ticking exercise that is the hip-hop imbued Mad Love.

Danny O’Donoghue’s voice is often a soaring thing of beauty, but wasted on awful lyrics such as “I’m your Great White, you’re my piranha / We don’t give up, we love the drama”.

No Man is an Island and Rain surprise with their infusions of dancehall, but the EDM-style beat drops littered throughout are tiresome. It's too long, but more importantly, it's emotionally hollow – even as pop music goes.

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. She writes about music and the arts for The Irish Times