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Year End 2008 - Best of 2008Snow Patrol

A Hundred Million Suns


Nov 02, 2008 Snow Patrol Bookmark and Share

If U2 taught us anything, it’s that one doesn’t become the biggest rock band in the world by running in place. Even U2 had to evolve—they’ve managed to do it successfully over the years, as have their successors, Coldplay, as heard on their latest, Viva la Vida. Snow Patrol hasn’t received this memo, and if they keep releasing albums like A Hundred Million Suns, which is the equivalent of listening to someone tread water for 60 minutes, people will lose interest because there is nothing new in Snow Patrol’s tired repertoire to keep them coming back.

Epic, hook-laden alternative rock tracks such as “Crack the Shutters” and “Please Just Take These Photos from My Hands” could have easily been included on Snow Patrol’s last two albums, only here they suffer from flat production and formulaic song structures despite the inclusion of electronic bells and whistles, pounding beats, bombastic string arrangements, and the kitchen sink. With looped hand claps and acoustic guitar picking, “The Golden Floor” has potential, but suffers from such blinding streamlined production you’d think it was a sparkly brand new car off an assembly line rather than an intricate, emotional rock ballad. Ultimately, Snow Patrol offers more bark than bite here. They’d like you to think they’re writing grand, mind-blowing stadium rock, but, in truth, A Hundred Million Suns is more Coldplay light or diet, late-period Peter Gabriel soft rock for fans who like a few seconds of dirty guitar here and there. Only on the 16-minute three part opus “The Lightening Strike,” does the band hit an evolutionary career milestone, but even that meanders about 10 minutes too long.

Now that Snow Patrol has released its obligatory mainstream cash machine, don’t be surprised when A Hundred Million Suns begets numerous irrelevant hit singles. Perhaps then the band can stop treading water, get out of the pool, and start going somewhere with their sound.

Author rating: 4/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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