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Final Straw

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iTunes Review

Initially a trio who met while studying in Dundee, Scotland and have since settled in Glasgow, Snow Patrol released their debut album Songs for Polar Bears on the hip U.K. Jeepster record label in 1998. They've since expanded into a five-piece ensemble - including a turntable/sampler/keyboardist - and established themselves as an ambitious studio group and must-see live act. Final Straw, their third album, is a sprawling 14-song cycle that attacks the pop song from many angles. The band isn't afraid of technology and uses an assortment of recording tricks to lend an extra urgency to these heavily melodic space-trips. "Gleaming Auction" pulses with singer Gary Lightbody sounding like Pete Yorn's Anglo-cousin, restraining his delivery until he sounds desperate. Mixer Chris Lord-Alge works over "Chocolate" with a distorted vocal and My Bloody Valentine haze, and transforms "Run" into a tense, whispered affair that recalls the melancholy of Trembling Blue Stars until it expands with the orchestral grandeur of The Bends-era Radiohead.

Customer Reviews

Excellent Album

A friend purchased this album for me, burned it to CD and said "You have to listen to this." Having an hour-long commute home, I listened to it and was a fan by the time I got home. The powerful middle-four tracks from Spitting Games through Grazed Knees have more hooks and thoughtful lyrics than some artists can have over a career. I only wish I had been as moved by their previous albums (I bought copies after hearing this), and I applaud them for being as experimental in those first albums as they were. But like with any set of experiments, some of them succeeded, some failed. But you can tell that they learned from those albums, and put it all into this piece of work. Here's hoping the trend continues.

Light up, Light up

Sorry hardcore Indie rockers, but I'm about to make you cringe. I first heard Snow Patrol in 2004 when Spitting Games was featured in a video game. I'd purposefully stall from playing the game so that the song would come up again for me to hear it. I bought the album that weekend, loved it, and then just put it away for a while. Last week, I heard Run featured at the end of the new TV show Jericho. I had forgotten that it was a Snow Patrol song until I researched it, and was delighted to rush downstairs and listen to the CD again. Now it's stuck in my CD player again after two years of hiatus. The point of this rambling is simple: it's literally THAT good. Where two years after an initial purchase, you can rediscover it as if you're hearing it for the first time all over again. When was the last time you had a CD do that to you? Plain and simple, if you've been afraid of Snow Patrol because of their quick mainstream acceptance, you're only hurting yourself because you're missing out on something truly epic here.

can you say 'beautiful'?

this cd is great - snow patrol is very good, and their songs are all great. some of the key tracks are "Run" "Chocolate" "Spitting Games" "Same" and "Grazed knees". a couple songs on this cd are short, but that doesn't mean they aren't great. Check out the cd "songs for polar bears" too.


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 the way for the success of 2006's...
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