Music: Snow Patrol

November 6, 2008

by Taylor Aswell

On their fifth studio album, Snow Patrol goes for a sound similar to that of their previous album Eyes Open, and delivers a very solid listening experience, but nothing you will be rushing to put in your CD player.

A Hundred Million Suns, released Oct. 28, is a much cheerier look into love and relationships than the previous four Snow Patrol albums.

At first listen, one notices a couple of things about this album.

First of all, you notice it all seems to sound very similar, leaving the songs that are different to noticeably stand out in your head. The bad thing about the album is that there are only two or three songs that really stand out, and on a CD containing 11 tracks this is very disappointing.

The first and last songs on the CD are the two best. “If There’s a Rocket Tie Me to It,” gets things going and really connects with fans of Eyes Open as the similarities are uncanny.

While the album is very tame and arena-rockish, there are a few songs that take a different approach to the Coldplay sound Snow Patrol is associated with.

“Disaster Button” is very upbeat and gradually adds more and more variation to the song as it goes along, leaving the listener, with so many instruments and voices going, wondering, “What just happened?”

The second thing I noticed about this CD is that it is lyrically outstanding.

Gary Lightbody, the lead singer and songwriter, has a way of writing love songs which is paralleled only by a select few.

On “The Golden Floor,” Lightbody sings about the connection between two people in love with lines like, “I’m a peasant in your princess arms / Penniless with only charm / As we’re leveled by the low, hot lights / And disarmed.”

Lightbody also sings about the dangers of missing out on life on “Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands,” with lines like “When all this actual life played out /Where the hell on Earth was I? / I rack my brains but it won’t come.”

The final song on the CD, “The Lighting Strike,” is a 16-minute epic split into essentially three separate songs. This would be a very unique experience if the transitions into each new part weren’t so clunky and the songs didn’t sound so similar, but all in all it defines itself as one of the top songs on the CD.

A Hundred Million Suns is a decent CD that will leave you with both good and bad memories. You will find yourself lacking the need to clamor to listen to this CD at all times, but you will not skip a song from the CD if it happens to come on the shuffle on your iPod. Mediocrity is the best word to describe this album, but if you are a Snow Patrol fan, you could ask for nothing more.