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Posted on October 26th, 2008 (11:00 pm) by Travis Müller

Every little thing that I expected from Snow Patrol's fifth studio record A Hundred Millions Suns is exactly what I got. For those who aren't in the loop, Snow Patrol is a Northern Irish/Scottish pop-rock band that met success with their singles Chasing Cars and Run. Possibly the most inoffensive band on the scene today, Snow Patrol is well known for their soft, sensitive piano/guitar tunes-- usually, they can be found on any art student's iPod. Fans of Snow Patrol's previous few records will not exactly be disappointed by Million Suns, but I still can't help but think that they could have done more.

The album starts out with If There's A Rocket Tie Me To It, a song that sounds so stereotypical-Snow Patrol that I wanted to throw my hands up in the air and suck my teeth. The song is in no way awful, but at the same time, it's generic, and songs like this one come a dime a dozen. On the plus side, lead singer Gary Lightbody sounds great. If there's one thing to be said about Snow Patrol, it's that they know how to piece together sounds to make for a pleasurable listening experience. And they are clever. Over the course of A Hundred Millions Suns they manage to distinguish from the rest with insightful lyrics and accessible melodies sans the use of cheap bells and whistles.

Snow Patrol’s latest has a strange feeling to it; it almost feels as if the whole record is one, big song, give or take a few standouts. One song that I must say I fell for was Crack the Shutters, which, in my opinion, has the catchiest melody off the whole record, not to mention a very romantic chorus: "Crack the shutters open wide / I wanna bathe you in the light of day / And just watch you as the rays tangle up around your face and body." The only song that disappointed me was the lead single Take Back the City, which, from what I had read about it, was quite popular amongst fans. Again, it's not a terrible tune, but I don't hear what makes it stand out, which leads me to believe that it's only popular because it was the first single. On the bright side, it's probably the hardest Snow Patrol is ever going to sound.

The longest song on the album clocks in at over 16 minutes and acts as Millions Suns's grand finale. As the album ends, you’ll be greeted with The Lightning Strike, which is told in three movements: What if This Storm Ends?, Sunlight Through the Edge, and Daybreak. Fans of Yes or Genesis shouldn't see this as Snow Patrol shifting into the progressive rock genre because, even for a song broken into multiple parts, it's still the same ol' story. While the first two segments of this piece failed to impress, I did find myself tapping my foot to Daybreak, and, after thinking about it, it's very evident as to why they chose this song to close out their album.

It's difficult to write anything else about this record mainly because everything that needed to be said has already been covered. Almost every song on the record sounds fairly similar, making for a consistently "okay" record. If you like Snow Patrol then you are going to enjoy this album. However if you didn't like their last few albums, you might as well just leave this back on the rack. I'm sure that Snow Patrol has the ability to be a force to be reckoned with, but as they stand right now, they aren't exactly shaking any bones with any ground-breaking songs. At this point, they're stagnating, but judging from parts of A Hundred Millions Suns they certainly have what it takes to reinvent themselves.

Track List:

1. "If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It" - 4:20
2. "Crack the Shutters" - 3:21
3. "Take Back the City" - 4:40
4. "Lifeboats" - 4:42
5. "The Golden Floor" - 3:20
6. "Please Just Take These Photos from My Hands" - 4:26
7. "Set Down Your Glass" - 3:44
8. "The Planets Bend Between Us" - 4:18
9. "Engines" - 5:10
10. "Disaster Button" - 3:58
11. "The Lightning Strike" - 16:19
A. "What If This Storm Ends?" - 5:09
B. "Sunlight Through the Flags" - 4:15
C. "Daybreak" - 6:51

Snow Patrol is...
Gary Lightbody
Paul Wilson
Jonny Quinn
Nathan Connolly
Tom Simpson

Links
http://www.snowpatrol.com/
http://www.last.fm/music/Snow+Patrol

Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

Unrated
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