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Eyes Open

Snow Patrol

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iTunes Review

Ireland’s Snow Patrol pull off something unusual here. Their second major label release, much like 2004’s Final Straw, goes lush without going limp, arena-bound without sacrificing intimacy. Sonic echoes of Radiohead, U2 and the Jam abound, but singer Gary Lightbody grounds things in subtle touches and soul, commanding these atmospheric pop songs with an engaging sense of foreboding. The opening cut, “You’re All I Have,” roars out of the speakers, but Lightbody never abandons the melody, delicately dropping the notes in sublime resignation. Elsewhere, the band builds ethereal mystique (“You Could Be Happy”) and kaleidoscopic textures (“It’s Beginning to Get to Me”) for maximum effect. Four tracks employ strings; four tracks employ a choir. “Set the Fire to the Third Bar” adds Martha Wainwright to the vocal mix for a duet of candles and piano. With the exception of the likeably overblown “Make This Go On Forever,” nothing is too grandiose. Snow Patrol achieve that rare balance of intimacy and power.

Customer Reviews

The Final Word in the Final Sentence

Over the two years iTunes has been issuing their Free Single of the Week, they have introduced us to a wide variety of songs; some didn’t make a dent in the musical landscape while others have gone on to be legitimate hits. I always find it funny when what was once a free single ends up a top seller because the people buying it could have gotten it for free at one point. But anyways. Arguable the best free song over the past two years was Run by Snow Patrol. I played the song obsessively, eventually making the song the most played song on my iPod so naturally I was chopping at the bit to hear their new material on the newly released Eyes Open. The album opens with a sixties influenced You’re All I Have with synthesizers and harmonies but with guitars turned up. Over the next forty-five minutes the band takes you on a sonic journey from the highs to the lows that almost make you understand the U2 comparisons. Not in that they sound like the band, no one will ever be able to recreate the sound The Edge gets out of his guitars, instead Snow Patrol are able to craft music that doesn’t sound like anything else but is still palatable to a wide listening audience. Much like Run, Chasing Cars has and ebb and flow to it that just grabs you by the ear buds. The journey you envision in your mind just maybe the theme of the album as they tell us to, “Just close your eyes until you can imagine this place, you're our secret space at will” (Shut Your Eyes). Then at the end of the journey they want so much to open your eyes Cos I need you to look into mine” (Open Your Eyes) to make sure we both got there before we get to the last track, The Finnish Line. Along the way there is the lullaby, complete with xylophones that could be used in a Disney ride in an alternate universe, on You Could Be Happy. Then there’s the grandeur Make This Go on Forever that, if it went on forever I wouldn’t have minded. The song builds and builds on piano as more and more people join the choir that helps out on the chorus. Then the album then quickly crashes into the more somber Set the Fire to the Third Bar, a beautiful ballad that Martha Wainwright helps with moody word especially when the two singers hit the chorus, “I'm miles from where you are, I lay down on the cold ground I, I pray that something picks me up and sets me down in your warm arms.” If there was one negative to Snow Patrol is they still have yet to master the straight away rocker in the vain of Vertigo. When they do on songs like the unfortunate first single Hands Open as well as It’s Beginning to Get to Me and Headlights on the Dark Road seem to blend into each other and are too much like a couple songs off the last album. If on future releases they are able to craft a bombastic stadium anthem or two, they just may live up to the moniker of this generation’s U2.

"Eyes Open" is an eye-opener

While watching the season finale of Grey's Anatomy I heard one of the most emotional songs I had ever heard. I looked it up the next day and saw that it was called "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, whom I had never heard of. Well I sure am happy I heard of this band now. I haven't heard their old stuff religiously (even though I've come to love "Chocolate" and "Run") so I guess I can't say they "soldout." However here is a review of the CD from someone who is pretty unbiased in terms of their music past. You're All I Have- really catchy and fun song Hands Open- not my favorite but a good, upbeat song Chasing Cars- truly unbelievable and emotionally powerful. I have listened to this song every day for the past month and it hasn't gotten old. The lyrics are amazing as is the instrumental. Best of the album. Shut Your Eyes- kind of forgettable It's Beginning to Get to Me- I really like this one. It's another really catchy one. You Could Be Happy- close second to Chasing Cars for best on the album. Majestic and sense numbing are words I use to describe this song. Make This Go On Forever- Great buildup in this. Set the Fire to the Third Bar- if I had to pick one weak song on the album I'd go with this one. Wainwright's voice is just a little too out there for me. This is one you'll either love or hate. Headlights on Dark Roads- I like the lyrics. Open Your Eyes- my third favorite song of the album. Really, really good. The Finish Line- slightly forgettable but a really nice song Warmer Climate- not my favorite but it's just a bonus song

My hands are open and they are clapping

Snow patrol is a fantastic band, they understand the depth of the human heart and portray it in their songs

Biography

Formed: 1994 in Dundee, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After failing to secure an international audience for nearly ten years, Snow Patrol broke into the mainstream with 2003's Final Straw, a mega-selling album that showcased the band's fondness for epic, melancholic rock. The group had originally stuck closer to the pop realm, releasing quirky albums that took more cues from Belle & Sebastian than Coldplay (to whom the band would later draw many comparisons). Final Straw proved to be a turning point, however, paving...
Full Bio

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