Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Run" -- by Snow Patrol

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I probably shouldn't like Snow Patrol (website, Wikipedia entry) as much as I do, what with all their overblown melodramatic pop-rock, but, well, I do, a lot. Final Straw (2004), their third release, is a fantastic album -- as is Live and Acoustic at Park Ave. (2005), an EP with five songs from that album. Their fourth album, Eyes Open, which includes the massive hit "Chasing Cars," is almost as good, and their fifth album, A Hundred Million Suns, which was released at the end of October, and which I'm just now getting into, is similarly strong.

It's easy not to like them, I suppose, given their immense popularity -- even more so in the U.K. (they're originally from Northern Ireland) than in North America -- their huge record sales, and the annoying ubiquity of some of their hit songs (mainly "Chasing Cars," even though it's very good), but there's actually much more to them than their reputation (and their less generous critics) would suggest. They may not be as adventurous (or as full of themselves) as Coldplay (whom I also like), another wildly popular British band prone to anthemic arena crowd-pleasers, or as experimental as, say, Radiohead, but they write catchy tunes with good lyrics and soaring instrumentals -- and singer and main man Gary Lightbody has a wonderful voice.

Here's the video of my favourite Snow Patrol song, "Run," off Final Straw. (For more, check out their YouTube page.)


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