After risking everything to make it in music, Danny O'Donaghue and Mark Sheehan made it big with their debut self-titled album. Three years later the group is on their third record and in a much different place. Instead of getting in the studio when the studio could offer them time, they now have to get into the studio when they have the time. The band's latest album, #3 was recorded in a very small window between the band taking a break from touring while O'Donoghue was appearing on the U.K.'s version of The Voice. The result is a good album that probably could have been better with more time, but it still lives up to the band's high standard.
#3 is front-loaded. The four best songs on the album appear right in the front. "Good Ol' Days," "Six Degrees of Separation," "Hall of Fame," and "If You Could See Me Now" are all tremendous songs and they set the album off right in terms of quality, pace, sentiment, and sonics. Those four tracks almost set too high of a standard for the rest of the album to live up too. Basically it's like a steep hike up a hill and a gradual walk down. There are four great songs here and then eight decent-to-good tracks. The new album is the bands most diverse record to date and it borrows from more influences than either of the band's past two records.
#3 is a typical third album from a good band that's had a strong run over the past three years. It's clear that with more time in the studio it would have been a better record. But it's also never been clearer just how talented these guys are. They put a spectacular album together in a matter of weeks. #3 keeps this group going on the pace they're on, I don't think you could expect much more from a band than that.