Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns – review

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snow patrol
Artist: Title
Title: A Hundred Million Suns
Label: Interscope
Rating: 5/10

Corporate line:
Gary Lightbody (vocals/guitars) says, “”I’m so proud of this record. Everybody played out of their skin. Garret (Jacknife Lee) continued his progression from maverick genius to one of the best producers in the world. Musically, lyrically and sonically the best record we’ve made”

The Grammy-nominated band’s fifth studio album was recorded throughout the Summer of 2008 in Hansa Studios in Berlin (where Bowie recorded “Low,” “Heroes” and “Lodger”) and at Grouse Lodge deep in the Irish countryside. Written by Snow Patrol, the album was produced by Garret “Jacknife” Lee (Bloc Party, REM, U2).

Snow Patrol are one of the biggest selling UK bands this decade and “A Hundred Million Suns” follows up the 2006 Number One, seven-times platinum phenomenon Eyes Open which sold 2.1 million copies in the UK and over 1 million in the US. Eyes Open achieved platinum awards across the world from the US and Canada to Germany, Australia and beyond, selling over 4.5 million copies. Their single “Chasing Cars” has just received its 2 millionth download in the US.

The good:
“If There Is A Rocket Tie It To Me” – Simple. Lovely. The norm for Snow Patrol.

“The Planets Bend Between Us” – Again, a lovely song that you could listen to over and over. It’s a shame that it still sounds like some Coldplay song we’ve heard before.

“The Lightning Strike” – At 16 minutes this should sound a bit more epic. With that said, its one of the better tracks on the album. Something tells me it could have been ten minutes shorter.

The rest:
“Take Back The City” – Certainly a new flavor but it’s cheesy and not very convincing. It initially reminded me of Jefferson Starship–and that isn’t a good thing.

“Lifeboats” – Haven’t we heard this before?

“The Golden Floor” – A good track to listen to when you can’t sleep. Why does this have to be so boring?

“Disaster Button” – Perhaps the album’s worst track and the rare occasion when they aren’t piddling along. It sounds like an average song influenced by a bad ’80s commercial rock.

Finally:
Snow Patrol are stuck in honey. Sweet songs but nothing changes. They can’t shake their love for Coldplay and for slow songs that often sound too similar. Their one attempt at speeding up the pace sounded like Jefferson Starship. Gary Lightbody sings that he’s “not afraid of anything.” That isn’t true entirely, he seems fairly afraid of being daring. It’s a shame that Snow Patrol still operates as if they have to be the ultra safe version of Coldplay.

1 COMMENT

  1. The thing is, I don’t like Coldplay. I find them cold and a little droney, lecturing and somehow whiney. But I love Snow Patrol. I find them joyful, uplifting, heartwarming, melancholy and hopeful. So I don’t think they’re an ultra safe version of Coldplay…they speak for themselves in their own voice.

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