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This is yet ANOTHER amazing album from Irish/ Scottish indie band Snow Patrol.
I like this album as it is a little different from what Snow Patrol usually come up with. I say "a little" as it isn't as diverse as their new album but it's still good!
The first single to be taken from this album was "Take Back The City". This song was a whole new direction for the SP lads as it is quite rocky compared to what they normally come up with. I wouldn't say that this song is the most memorable SP song but it's still worth listening to and it grows on you in the end. I wasn't too keen on it at first but it ended up growing on me and I love it now! One song on this album lets it down in my opinion and the song in question is "Lifeboats".
"Lifeboats" doesn't really do anything for me. It's the weakest track on the album as it just doesn't go anywhere and it's really boring (sorry Snow Patrol!). "The Planets..." is also another weak track and wouldn't be missed if it wasn't on the album.
The album is addictive purely because of Gary's amazing voice and it is very well produced and mature sounding. The album explores many different subjects and it is a decent album overall. It's just a shame that a couple of weak tracks let it down...
Not the best SP album but it's still good!
Although not a big fan of British based band Snow Patrol an album for 99p is always a try and when "The Works" were selling the once hugely popular "A Hundred Million Suns" I decided to give it a listen. Although the CD's cover was less than inspiring and seemed to look like a relatively boring design with meaningless coloured shapes spread along a black background it was all about the price.
The album, released in 2008, was the bands 5th studio album following on from the hugely successful "Open Your Eyes" (which it's self peaked at at #1 in the UK) and was released to much hoopla by the bands newly found fans. The had, at last, made it big and now was time to cash in, though the album was released 2 years after "Open Your Eyes" it was still seen as an album that was going to solidify the bands standing in music.
Lead by lead singer and major song writer Gary Lightbody the band would release the single "Take Back the City" as the first track for the album (track 3 on the disk), which would sell phenomenally world wide. It had a similar alternative rock sound that many of the bands earlier tracks had had and was about Belfast, though on listening of the actual album it's one of the very few tracks actually giving a listen to as the quality seems to lack any major substance. The 10 other tracks on the album seem to be unmemorable on the whole with few glimpses of anything that had made the band so big. Despite the album containing 3 other tracks that were released as singles they are generally rather poor, including "Crack the Shutters" (the second track) which despite a good hook leaves a lot to be desired.
It gets stupidly low during the middle of the album, with "The Golden Floor" (track 5) being obvious filler and rather irritating filler at that and the following track "Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands" being no improvement at all. In fact the middle of the album is genuinely unpleasant to listen to, with no real redeeming factors other than the fact the disk only has 11 tracks. Though the final one of those tracks is a 3 parter called "The Lightning Strike" (broken into "What If This Storm Ends?", "The Sunlight Through the Flags" and "Daybreak") and lasts for over 16 minutes. Oddly however it's by far the bands most complete track on the disk and seemingly does show that the band do have some talent, sadly it's too little to turn around an otherwise unimaginative and uninspiring album.
If your a hardcore Snow Patrol fan you might enjoy it, key word being might, though if you're anyone else avoid it, even at 99p, it's not worth it for 2 songs (or 3 at a push). It's truly an abomination and one that has little to redeem it's self.
Many people find Snow Patrol to be on the safe side, and while this is true to an extent, they still make cracking tunes while at it.
First off, I would like to say aside from the music, the album art is beautiful and somehow just fits what you're hearing, especially looking in the booklet. This is a massive advantage I still feel CDs hold over MP3s.
Anyway, the music. I'm only going to go through a few songs here, but generally the whole album is pretty good for Snow Patrol, a good mix of sounds. Crack the shutters is a glorious single, and finds Gary Lightbody singing in a beautiful lilting voice. It has a lovely beat to it and I can guarantee it will stick in your head for a while.
Take back the city is a fairly good rock song, not rock in terms of Iron Maiden, but good rock for Radio 1. Again, it is catchy, the melody is cracking. But the albums best moment comes in the jawdropping 16 minute long Lightning Strike. You feel this is a culmination of the album, indeed of what is Snow Patrol. The first 4 minutes are uncharacteristically grandoise and epic, before settling into 2 more poppy parts. If you are a fan of any Snow Patrol songs, check out this quarter of an hour song, it is just brilliant.
This was always going to be a tough one for Snow Patrol, as on their last album they produced some absolutely stunning tracks, not least of course 'Chasing Cars; which was something very special indeed, so rightly I was excited by this release, but very worried it wouldn't measure up. First impressions were that this was a very safe album, tracks that were neither outstanding or dull, but tracks that had enough quality to make you feel like you hadn't been completely shortchanged. But a few listens later and you start to understand the subtleties of the tracks and they gradually grow on you and you realize that once again Snow Patrol have come up with a strong offering. Take back the City was the first single and was quickly appreciated. the planets bend between us began to catch my imagination early on as well, and now I see this as a beautifully crafted song, one to close your eyes a let float over you. The openers 'If there's a Rocket Tie me to it' and 'Crack the Shutters' are strong tracks as well and lend to the albums overall flow. 'Disaster Button' I really like, I think its near as you will get to a powerful rock number from Snow Patrol, without really being a rock song!
The level is not as high as the last two albums, there is no 'Chasing Cars' there is no 'Run' but what there is, is strong and suggests that whilst they might not have produced that killer track this time around you know they are more than capable of doing it again in the future!
Snow patrols rise to stratospheric levels of fame began with the release of their track "run" early in 2003. MTV, Sunday morning, hung over, a video about a motorbike and a man with an amazing distinctively outstanding voice. It was that moment there, RIGHT there that I fell in lyrical love and Run remains to this day a song that carries immense emotional significance for me. Lead singer Gary is a strange old bean and as mad as a jumping one, but a singer who is as entertaining as they come. He carries out every performance whether it be a concert, tv appearance or in the studio with such an air of fun and joviality that his listeners cant help but smile. His on stage antics come highly recommended!!
Prior to Run's release came two albums that it would be fair to say received a luke warm reception. A change of record label later and things dramatically improved. Final straw and eyes open quickly followed. both containing immensely successful tracks. Now onto the present day.
A hundred million suns is far and away the richest sounding, most advanced album that the band have released so far. Receiving critical acclaim and Just missing the number 1 spot, the album is full of varying sounds. From the amazingly upbeat (and frequently sung in the shower, loudly and badly) "take back the cities" to my personal favourite the melancholic and ambient "lifeboats"
Now I'm not going to sit here and critique this album track by track. I am nowhere near experienced enough in the world of music to do such a disservice to the band, but will point out some gems contained that may other wise be skipped over.
First up we have lightning strike, a collaboration of 3 pieces of music grouped together to form one long story. The inspiration for the lyrics came from a long nights song writing, during which an electrical storm lit up the room that they were sitting in. And the lyrics most certainly reflect this. The 3 pieces chart the progress of a relationship with Lightbody praising the love in front of him throughout. Featuring fantastic choral and instrumental arrangements, the whole segment is 16 minutes long.
Initially dismissed out of hand by me as "too ambient" and "not the snow patrol I know and love!" I re-visited these pieces after the "take back the cities '09" tour where they were presented behind the most amazing back drops I've seen. The atmosphere in the arena during the performance was electric and on listening again following the concert I completely fell in love with these 3 tracks. So if you have dismissed them as not typical snow patrol then try them again. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Next on the list is "the planets bend between us" a gentle, melodic piece that is a world removed from the hands in the air feet tapping beats snow patrol usually reveal. In fact I have to be honest and say that I've always been a "slow patrol" fan over a "snow patrol fan!" The listener pretty quickly finds themselves swimming in the warm depths of both the melodic musical arrangement and garys gentle irish lilt. With touching lyrics such as "I will meet you by the water side, and standing on Irelands shore, I'll shout across to America that I did all this for you" an absolute blinder of a song that shows off Gary's vocal skills and that you wont want to end.
Snow patrol have often been criticised for failing to experiment, for not being "cutting edge" and not standing out from the crowd. A hundred million suns without exception crashes through this criticism and chucks a musical 2 fingers at their critics. The constant diversity of the tracks, along with the experimentation of lightning strike and the vocal range of all the tracks shows our snow patrol boys are proving their musical worth.
Oh and Gary, if you read this. If you ever fancy dinner.... ;0)
Snow patrol: A Hundred million suns
If theres a rocket tie me to it:
This is a great opening track. It has great lyrics and it builds up to a simple but effective beat. It's mid tempo is just right and i recommend this for any one to listen to.
Crack the shutters:
It starts with a nice piano tune and soft lyrics. It has an amazing chorus and the lead singer has an amazing voice. its not so much a soft beat to say but it is good.
Take back the city:
Nice acoustics at the beginning of the track and when the singing starts it sounds a bit like the kaiser cheifs but that soon dissapears. Awesomw rhythm to get your head going. i can listen to this song repeatedly.
im not so sure about this track to be honest its just not got a feel to it. i wouldnt know what to put because i never listen to it, i suppose if i did it would grow on me. all i can say is it has a great beat.
the golden floor:
nice acoustic finger picking at the start and the clapping effect gives it more of a vibe. Lyrics are easy to memorize and the lead singer is amazing in this track.
Please just take these photos from my hands:
Starting of with a nice electric rhythm and good lyrics it got me hooked i love the fact that its upbeat but they keep it a mellow song with the lyrics they use.
Set down your glass:
This track starts with the finger picking of the acoustic guitar it is a beautiful sound and the lyrics are sung magnificantly, The tempo is slow and it is a calm song.
The planets bend between us:
The piano opens this track up which gives it a sad feeling. the lyrics are soft and there is a light beat in the background which keeps it a stable song.
Not one of my most favourite tracks but i still listen to it from time to time. it has a great beat and the tempo is good.
This song is one i listen to often. Its got a catchy beat and keeps you interested especially with the lyrics.
the lightning strike......ect
its 16 minuets long and starts off with the piano yes it is good but i hardly listen to it with it being so long. great lyrics.
As a fellow Northern Ireland-er I am proud of the great music that Snow Patrol have so far produced. Run was the first song that caught my attention, or maybe it was the eerie video for it with the guy holding the flare in the dark, but their music has grown on me ever since. I know that a lot of people do not like their pop/rock cross over, but I think they do not take themselves uber seriously and have so far in my opnion produced good listening records, with a few anthems thrown in for good measure (see Chasing Cars as the follow up anthem to Run).
On a Hundred Million Suns (a bit of an odd title if you ask me, but perhaps there is a deeper meaning I have not yet grasped) they prove they're humble enough to recognize the power of patient buildups, earnest enough to write from the heart and bold enough to experiment (with a 16-minute song). The album starts where Eyes Open left off, with a cuddly grouping of miss-you rockers. But as the cosmos theme slowly creeps in on the spacey "Lifeboats" and through to the kind of watery warnling of Gary on "The Planets Bend Between Us" and "The Lighting Strike," the band starts to prove its range and its potential. It is a pretty consistent, honest and straightforward effort by Gary and the boys.
Snow Patrol are derided ofeten enough for being 'too mainstream' and not cutting edge enough. Well they did begin back at Dundee University and I am pretty sure that they aspired to be successful, so let's not begrudge them their success. Is it their fault that the mainstream like their music?
A favourite of mine has got to be the sparse, down-tempo "Set Down Your Glass," which follows an acoustic guitar riff through a deceptively sweet love story ("when your eyes meet mine I lose simple skills") eventually building with bells and a final, cascading piano line. It seems to me to be a particularly poignient moment on the album, that shows the earnest and honest side of Snow Patrol.
There is a bit more 'rock' on this album than on Eyes Open, and I think that Snow Patrol carry it well.
The guys have come a long way from Dundee uni, conquering America included. I just hope the journey continues and they take back the city.
1. If There's a Rocket Tie Me To It
2. Crack The Shutters
3. Take Back The City
5. The Golden Floor
6. Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands
7. Set Down Your Glass
8. The Planets Bend Between Us (For You)
10. Disaster Button
11. The Lightning Strike
So, Snow Patrol are back with yet another album up their sleeves. So what's changed this time round? Have they secured yet another blinder of an album, or does this one not quite live up to its predessessors?
Having been bought this album for Christmas, I couldn't really grumble that I'd spent money on something that doesn't quite live up to my standards, so I dove straight in, ears pricked and ready to listen to what Snow Patrol offered me. And my gosh, I was plesently surprised!
A Hundred Million Suns does sound very much like Snow Patrol's older albums, but thats not exactly a bad thing may I add! The same elements that brought stardom amongst them are still there, which is fantastic! Infact, listening to the first couple of tracks, I wouldn't blame you if you assumed you was listening to their previous album.
Crack The Shutters is surprisingly different from your usual soppy love-lost song that Snow Patrol are great at churning out. It tells a tale of admiration for his new lady, and whilst this is something different, its sickening ever so slightly. Take Back the City is your generic Snow Patrol anthem, however it lacks something that previous belters such as "Eyes Open" had. I'm not quite sure what though, I haven't put my finger on it yet..
There are a few more rousing anthems on the album, such as Just Take These Photos From My Hands and Disaster Buttons, but to be perfectly honest, I'm starting to think less is more in terms of hands in the air belters from this band. Subetly is definitly the key, such as Set Down Your Glass... This reminds me of tracks like You Could Be Happy... the beautiful, soft twinkly sound that I love about Snow Patrol.
One special mention must go to The Lightning Strike. It's a beautiful arrangement of choirs and instruments, I was actually quite sad to see the end of the 16 minutes (Yes the final track is 16 minutes long!)
I had to give the album a couple of listens over before I fully appreciated most of the tracks, mainly because it has a slightly different feel to it than the previous Snow Patrol albums, but that's good, because It emphasised how much effor went into the album to make it different than the last.
The general feel and vibe around this album seems to be centered around love, as in previous albums, but Disaster Button lets you into the very public personal problems that the artist has suffered.
The Planets Bend Between Us will probably be the most succesful track in my opinion, it has a very infectious sound to it, and its very touching too i think!
All in all, A Hundred Million Suns is a rather good album. In parts I must admit it is rather average for Snow Patrol, but you'll find there are plenty of tracks that shout at you as being above average. My only wish is that they limited the number of hands in the air anthems, and spent more time on the experimental side, as that, in my opinion, is where Snow Patrol excel.
In the meantime, this is just another Snow Patrol album that's like marmite, you will either love it, and wish you had bought it sooner, or you will hate it, and hide it in your drawer, never to play it again.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 If There's a Rocket Tie Me To It
2 Crack The Shutters
3 Take Back The City
5 The Golden Floor
6 Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands
7 Set Down Your Glass
8 The Planets Bend Between Us
10 Disaster Button
11 The Lightning Strike