New Music Tuesday: Fallen Empires

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires
New Year, new music, and this year it looks like I get to start off by reviewing the new album of a band I've liked for some time, Snow Patrol. Though let me start off this review by saying that I bought this album and started listening to it with a bit of trepidation. Why, you may hypothetically be asking your computer? Well, you know how with a lot of bands, you listen to one album and fall in love with them, and every following album just makes you love them more (I'm looking at you, Green Day)? Snow Patrol has had the opposite effect since I first discovered them six or so years ago.

The first album I became acquainted with was Final Straw, originally released in 2003, which I can honestly say is a phenomenal album. Seriously, I just rediscovered Final Straw when going through my CDs, and fell in love with it all over. However, due to some personal reasons (One song on that album is associated with a bad memory) and poor pacing their 2006 album Eyes Open didn't have the same longevity as Final Straw. Their 2009 album, A Hundred Million Suns was good as far as I remember, but nothing on it really stands out. So, with such a declining motion, I put my own money at stake with Snow Patrol once more, mostly because I remember how much I loved Final Straw.

The good news is, after a couple of listens I think that Snow Patrol has managed to stop, and even reverse, their downhill slide with Fallen Empires. At first I wasn't sure it was going to, as the first few tracks were only okay. My opinion changed about one minute into the third track, the Weight of Love, which won me over with lead singer Gary Lightbody's bluesy lyrics and the catchy tune. The album stayed strong from there with it's folk rock inspired tone and strong tracks like The Garden Rules, New York, Lifening, and The Symphony displaying Lightbody's gift of writing, and delivering, powerful and poignant lyrics.

With Fallen Empires, I think 2012 is off to a good start, musically. And while I'm not sure yet, I think its safe to say this is Snow Patrol's best overall album since Final Straw, and if you remember my glowing praise from earlier that's saying a lot. Maybe in six years I'll be rediscovering this.

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