Sunsets and Full Moons
Sony Music Entertainment · November 8, 2019
“Something Unreal” is the first song to be introduced in the album. The engaging melody of the piano is quickly cut short by vocalist Danny O’Donoghue. While his vocals are filled with emotion, the upbeat sequence that follows overshadows the rest of the track, making it more pop-sounding and nothing too remarkable or diverse. The progression is redundant as the same lyrics are sung frequently throughout the song.
“The Last Time” is one of the better songs of the album. It resonates more with The Script’s personal sorrow in prior songs. They make use of wordplay of wishing the moment with somebody would last, only for it to result in the moment actually being the last time. At parts, such as the second verse, they say “You practiced leaving many times before, but I guess you’ll get it right today,” or the chorus’ “I’m tryna hold your hand but feeling like my hands tied.” The Script provide words relatable to many people who have had their heart broken.
With a captivatingly mellow and soft lead, “Run Through Walls” starts off strong as Donoghue’s passion is evident in his words. The positivity in the song reflects on the true care friends show when they are needed, as Donoghue reflects on them as being “my shield of steel when I’m too weak to fight.” Aside from another off-putting shift in flow near the two-minute mark, the song does nicely capture its message, although once again, it is not something that stands out drastically.
Similarly, “If You Don’t Love Yourself” has strongly good intentions, but a failure to execute. While meaningful lyrics such as “You don’t lose if you learn from your mistakes” dominate the song’s meaning of needing to care for yourself before anybody else, the track’s mix of repetitive techno and rushed tempo interferes.
“Hurt People” initially starts with a pleasantly acoustic introduction to the song, but aside from this, the song resorts to basic lyrics contradicting each other, an instance being in the rather choppily pieced together breakdown in the lyricism, “You measure the heart by the size of the man, I measure the man by the size of the heart.” The idea of breaking the status quo does not shift the song from its mundane beat and cliche simplicity.
The storyline of love gone wrong threads through the next track “Same Time.” In the chorus, the hollow background vocals drown out the original voice once again, with the first and second chorus not varying and making the song sound like the same, consecutive line repeated.
“Underdog” has all the potential to be an encouraging song for people to feel conquering, but between dull transgressions and a lazy chorus of ‘oohs,’ it is a fairly slow-paced rhythm for what would be considered a motivational song. Donoghue’s vocals are tampered with too much in some segments, with a part close to rap sounding awkwardly placed near the end of the song not contributing much to the song aside from the underdog being, “The only one to walk the walk, talk the talk.”
With better writing and production, “The Hurt Game” is one of the more listenable songs of the tracklist. The Script brings out easily relatable ideas of “’Doing the wrong things for the right reasons” with a lyric style similar to their past songs. Particularly in their verses, “Drinkin’ it all but drowning the meaning /
Cuttin’ it off but still got the feeling” and “We walk through fire to get to water,” it is shown here that they resort to bringing back their more relaxed, emotion-filled content.
“Hot Summer Nights” draws the first connection to the album title, making references to the “sunset girl” and “full moon man.” While the song is very upbeat, it still sounds too similar to material released by other artists, hence how The Script have lost touch with their original sound, at least for these tracks. “I hate saying goodbye to those sweet summer vibes with you,” would be one of the last types of lyrics to be sung in their tracks.
Not to be dismissed entirely, this album could be enjoyable for a romance, drama, or action movie soundtrack. But from The Script specifically, compared to the release of their past content, expectations were much higher.
Listen to Sunsets and Full Moons: