The world of adult contemporary rock can often feel like the aural equivalent of nondairy creamer — presweetened and emulsified for easy digestion, if not good taste.
Still, a taste it is, and even as James Blunt and the Script induce cornea-straining eye rolls in some, they also bring lite-FM pleasure to millions. Those millions may be hard sold, though, on Blunt’s third and latest album. Some Kind of Trouble comes off as inert and oddly hollow; apart from the album’s comparatively lively bookends, “Stay the Night” and “Turn Me On,” the singer drifts listlessly through soggy material that seems to spring less from true inspiration than its poor step-cousin, contractual obligation.
The sensitive-man mantle sits a little lighter on the Script, the Dublin-bred trio whose 2010 hit “Breakeven” made romantic devastation sound positively jaunty. Science & Faith‘s first single, “For the First Time,” registers as a rather crass attempt to recast “Breakeven” with a happier ending and a timely bad-economy kicker (cheap wine = cure for lapsed love and unemployment blues). Even so, the band’s sunny lyrics, tuneful riffs, and build-build-explode! choruses nail a VH1-catnip niche: more propulsive than Keane, less arty-grandiose than Coldplay. Like Blunt, the Script trundle steadily down rock’s middle road. Unlike him, they seem to be enjoying the ride. C?
Turn Me On, a raw, bluesy departure for Blunt, at last.fm