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Snow Patrol - Eyes Open

Snow Patrol, Eyes Open

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

SNOW Patrol continue to bask in the glory of 2003’s Final Straw, the album that finally gave the Dundee act their breakthrough after five years of obscurity.

Eyes Open, the long-awaited follow-up, could even be a sophomore effort given the rejuvenation that Final Straw gave their career.

Yet now that they are in the limelight, they intend to stay there and Eyes Open will certainly ensure that they do so.

It’s an epic album of powerful anthems – some full-bodied rock tracks, others more tender in outlook – that demonstrate Gary Lightbody’s undeniable talent for songwriting.

Kicking off with the relentlessly upbeat current single, You’re All I Have, the album then proceeds to deliver 14 tracks of mercurial brilliance that deliver a masterclass in emotion.

You’re All I Have is to Eyes Open what Chocolate was to Final Straw – a joyous anthem that deserves a wide audience and an even wider stage.

Yet anyone who thinks that Snow Patrol are just another indie band in the Embrace/Coldplay mode had better think again.

If anything, Eyes Open is the most confident record of their career and one which effortlessly reaches out to fans on both sides of the Atlantic.

Highlights include the ballsy second track, Hands Open, which contains an epic swagger built around crunching riffs and some pounding drums that evolve into a mighty chorus. It’s sure to become a firm favourite.

The hauntingly simple riffs that made Run so memorable return for Chasing Cars, a deeply atmospheric track dripping in melancholy and sensitivity. It’s actually an empowering record constructed in several layers that includes impassioned lyrics such as ‘would you lie with me and just forget the world, forget what you’re told before we get too old’. Yet with Lightbody’s assured delivery, it somehow feels kind of sad as well.

The same can be said for the equally mesmerising You Could Be Happy, a bittersweet tale of lost love (‘I should’ve stopped you from walking out the door, you could be happy, I hope you are’) that screams with emotional intensity. It’s another stripped back track but its power is immense.

Fortunately, the album counter-balances the sensitive with the more defiantly upbeat.

Shut Your Eyes is an inspiring song about love in a difficult world that contains U2-inspired guitar work, while It’s Beginning To Get Me is all skyscraper riffs and feisty defiance.

Late on, there’s an ethereal quality surrounding The Finish Line, as well as a haunting, hypnotic beauty surrounding Set Fire To The Third Bar, Lightbody’s powerful duet with Martha Wainwright.

Open Your Eyes serves as an interesting counterpoint to Shut Your Eyes, a song that provides a completely opposite sentiment to its predecessor and which contains its own power.

While Warmer Climate draws things to a close in supremely satisfying fashion.

If Final Straw awoke the world to Snow Patrol, then Eyes Open ensures that the focus stays on them. It’s an excellent offering that should only help Snow Patrol go from strength to strength.

Track listing:

  1. You’re All I Have
  2. Hands Open
  3. Chasing Cars
  4. Shut Your Eyes
  5. It’s Beginning To Get To Me
  6. You Could Be Happy
  7. Make This Go On Forever
  8. Set The Fire To The Third Bar
  9. Headlights On Dark Roads
  10. Open Your Eyes
  11. Finish Line
  12. In My Arms
  13. Warmer Climate

  1. This CD is so good, I absolutley adore Snow Patrol

    jamie    May 7    #