Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires
Record Label: Interscope
Release Date: 11th November 2011
Since having their careers launched into mainstream success after releasing The Final Straw back in 2003, Snow Patrol have become a house hold name amongst modern rock and mainstream pop. They then went on to release Eyes Open in 2006 and A Hundred Million Suns in 2008 which spawned singles that are instantly recognizable after receiving plenty of media attention. Tracks such as Chasing Cars, Take Back The Cirty and You're All I Have became instantly recognizable amongst mainstream media. Whatever people thought about Snow Patrol personally, they continued to build momentum with each release by producing simplistic sing along stadium fillers. Three years later and Snow Patrol look to carry on filli g stadiums with a well known yet successful formula with their latest release, Fallen Empires.
Simplicity can be an extremely underrated factor in song writing and in music overall. Many of the most impacting bands and albums stuck to simplicity yet to this day albums such as Nevermind, Surfer Rosa, What's The Story Morning Glory? are still building up today's landscape of the current music generation. It's a formula that has worked well for Snow Patrol too and they continue to capitalize on this without keeping Fallen Empires to seem bleak and at the same time Snow Patrol avoid taking too many risks just enough to keep the sound familiar yet fresh and enjoyable.
Fallen Empires kicks off with the intro track "I'll Never Let Go", a track that doesn't build as much momentum as an opening track should do, (as is the case with alot of tracks on Fallen Empires). This isn't to say that no momentum is built at all on the intro track, "I'll Never Let Go"gradually becomes more up-beat with a sing along chorus that makes it perfect for Snow Patrols stadium rock persona. The final chorus sees typical Snow Patrol chorus style guitar kicking in just enough to pick up the pace in preparation for the next track"Called Out In The Dark", a perfect choice for the albums first single as unlike a lot of the tracks on Fallen Empires this track relies more on Snow Patrols undeniable pop hooks rather than their more famous emotional and melancholy style of song writing. The second single "This Isn't Everything You Are" is certainly one of the more effective tracks due to it taking strengths from pace changes and build ups that combine the albums modern rock and piano/keyboard melodies to perfection.
The title track "Fallen Empires" and "New York" deliver more of a guitar drive sound to add backbone to the chorus which is a rarity on Fallen Empires this album seems to be riddled with ballad-like tracks that include piano/keyboard hooks with soothing rhythmic acoustic guitars that compliment Gary Lightbody's vocals perfectly ("Life-ning", "The Garden Rules"). The problem with these piano-rock inspired songs is that they don't give off the impression that they can be released as singles thus perhaps making them not as memorable as Snow Patrols more modern rock based hits. As enjoyable as these songs may be, they seem to outnumber the more up-tempo tracks on Fallen Empires. Eyes Open and The Final Straw drew success from having a healthy amount of stadium sing along tracks and relaxing melody packed ballads. Fallen Empires at times feels un-balanced and lacking enough drive to truly be enjoyed as much as a Snow Patrol album could be.
Lyrics remain typical and nothing new should really expected as far as a Snow Patrol record goes. Subjects such as love, life and heartache swarm the album as per but are still enjoyable amongst the hooks and choruses.
Overall Fallen Empires isn't a huge step forward for Snow Patrol. Snow Patrol will always be held in high regard due to past success despite the overall opinion of this record. Fallen Empires fails to cover new ground as it takes strength from a slowly depleting formula that has lead Snow Patrol to mainstream success. Until that formula is completely milked though, Fallen Empires still remains an enjoyable listen and a healthy addition to snow patrols growing catalogue and Gary Lightbody's voice is always pleasant to listen to. Until Snow Patrol decide to break away from their famous yet almost dry songwriting formula, Fallen Empires is still considerably a must-hear album for dedicated fans.