In our experience, The Script are the musical equivalent of Marmite. The mere mention of their name tends to prompt an extreme reaction from either end of the spectrum, that of either offensive bile or insipid cooing. As it happens, we veer more towards the favourable. The Irish trio have certainly proven themselves, having already notched up two number one albums, Science and Faith having been certified double-platinum.
‘Hall of Fame’ is the first single from the band’s third album, imaginatively named #3. The track features none other than Black Eyed Pea and all-round ubiquitous producer, will.i.am. Presumably, the collaboration resulted from lead singer Danny O’Donoghue’s recent appearance alongside the American singer-songwriter on The Voice UK. Whatever the motivation, to our relative surprise, it’s a combination which largely works.
Although not officially an ‘Olympic song’, only those with extreme brain freeze could listen to ‘Hall of Fame’ and fail to discern a distinct Olympic theme. The track starts with the delicate piano tinkles which underpin the majority of The Script’s output, before O’Donoghue launches into the telling lyrics: ‘You can be the greatest / You can be the best / You can be the King Kong, banging on your chest’. will.i.am then interjects with ‘You can beat the world / You can beat the war’. The vocal tennis leads the duo into the chorus, which is where the Olympic analogy reaches its most obvious zenith: ‘You could find yourself sitting in the Hall of Fame / And the world’s gonna know your name / ‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame’. Blatant.
Thinly-veiled references to the most talked-about sporting event of the year are not a bad thing in themselves. After all, we are sure The Script will not be the only act to ‘cash in’ on the Games this year. Actually, the song stands strong in its own right. It’s anthemic, it’s piano-led, it’s extremely well sung – all the elements we have come to expect from The Script. The addition of will.i.am arguably enhances the song very little, although we would have belly-ached had he attempted to detract from the band’s signature style, by introducing ill-fitting R&B elements to the track. It’s a subtle collaboration but one which, overall, does work.
So, The Script stay true to form and stick to what they do best. ‘Hall of Fame’ is no ‘Breakeven’ or ‘For The First Time’, but in an age where many acts are slammed for trying to ‘push themselves’ out of their ‘comfort zones’, it is good to know that this gazillion-selling band are sticking to a winning game plan. Who can blame them?
‘Hall of Fame’ is released on 2 September.