Snow Patrol - Eyes Open

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Album: Eyes Open
Artist: Snow Patrol
It seems for some reason, people literally hate the idea of Snow Patrol. More people visit herohill looking for “snow patrol + suck” than actually looking to find out about the band. Some bloggers are calling them sellouts and a lot of people think the band is crap.

I’m not one of those people. I don’t really care they got big off their last album. I don’t really care they are getting hyped a lot and are on the radio. I don’t care this album will be a summer soundtrack for a lot of people and cuts (I like to call songs cuts) will no doubt appear on teenage melodramas and movies. To me, this is a band that writes good music, so who cares if a lot of people like it? Not me.

The new album drops this month, and after a few listens I am really enjoying it. Gary has moved completely away from the visceral, layered, depressing melodies of Reindeer Section, away from the rougher, less polished songs on earlier SP releases and into a more structured, electric, upbeat style. This type of change will always set off the sellout bells, but if it happens over a course of a few albums and many years, can you really be surprised the band changes? And if they didn’t change, would you even want to keep listening? Gary still puts his heart on his sleeve, and sings about love and loss – he is just writing about these emotions in a way that happens to appeal to more people. Is it a conscious decision? I don’t know and I don’t care. I love indie-pop music, but I also enjoy good pop records. I think Plans by DCFC is an amazing record. That doesn’t mean I don’t like We ahve the Facts and We're Voting Yes, it just means I can appreciate both records for different reasons.

Listening to music doesn’t always have to be an effort. For all the people that can appreciate the immensity of albums like (Come on Feel the) Illinoise (ironically Gary actually says – put Sufjan Stevens on), there are people who simply want to hear catchy tracks. Sometimes I crave the musical ambition of artists trying to change music, but sometimes I just want to throw on a CD I can listen to, enjoy, and not feel the need to analyze each note.

I hate having to feel like I am justifying liking a CD. I’d love to give a detailed review of this album, but it almost doesn’t even matter. People already have pre-conceived notions of this disc. It’s like the new Streets album. You either like it or you don’t – or you just assume you won’t be into it. But like Mike Skinner, Gary (and his new band after the decision to move forward without longtime partner, Mark McClelland) sold a lot of records and has new opportunities. HE is not facing the same problems he once did. All I can say is this: if you take the time to listen to this record, you’ll actually realize the songs are really enjoyable. They are emotional. The beautiful ballad Make This Go on Forever, with the piano breakdowns and outro, choir-esque backup vocals and the power chord build ups, are textbook Snow Patrol. There’s a reason this one time dorm-project is still around after a decade.

Somehow along the ride, people mistook the band to be something it never claimed to be. People assumed the band wanted to be Indie darlings. Just because the band has featured memebers of Belle and Sebastian and Gary has worked with people from such acts as Mogwai and Teenage Fanclub, doesn’t mean that is the style we should expect from him. My favorite song is the amazing duet, Set the Fire to the Third Bar, with Martha Wainright. The duo’s voices interact perfectly and you can feel the emotion coming from both singers. By the time (the aptly named) the sound effect, atmospheric track the Finish Line fades out, if you have given this record a fair shake, you will be happily surprised.

1 Responses to “Snow Patrol - Eyes Open”

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