From session players and songwriters to stardom, The Script's journey to the top of the charts would make a very interesting book about the music industry from the inside. For the soundtrack to it, well, their debut is a lot more predictable.

As pop balladeers go, the Dublin trio can write as memorably as anyone else - there's no question of talent. Their greatest failing however is that they live up to their name. At the controls themselves, they've polished and produced the record too much when making it rougher and more live sounding would have added much to the likes of 'Before the Worst', 'The Man Who Can't Be Moved' and 'The End Where I Begin'.

Next time they need to believe that the songs are good enough without the gloss; develop a greater sense of adventure and not get so hung-up on rhyming things - there are moments here when it's the sonic equivalent of someone with a drain cover chained to their ankle.

Until then, this critic-proof album will mean a lot to a lot of people, be a guilty pleasure for some and leave others unmoved. All may agree, however, that they've better in them.

Harry Guerin