Snow Patrol
Fallen Empires


2.0
poor

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (105 Reviews)
December 23rd, 2011 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's time for Snow Patrol to call it a day.

Ever since the critical and, more importantly, commercial success of their 2006 release, Eyes Open, Snow Patrol have been floundering. A Hundred Million Suns played around with some pretty forced experimentalism, complete with an over ambitious 16 minute outro, and side projects have fizzled into existence only to immediately fade out in their mediocrity. Regrettably, Fallen Empires continues this trend. Whatever colour and flair there was to be found a few years ago has drained away, leaving something that, while not completely bad, is not exactly good either.

There is a prevailing feeling that Fallen Empires, as an album, is nothing more than a marketing decision. Coined by the band as their best and most experimental album: it blends the sincere, acoustic-ballad style that prevailed on their most popular releases with a heavy pop-rock influence. Effectively, you’ll catch glimpses of Coldplay, Arcade Fire and U2. There are plenty of chorus’ full of “woh’s”, plenty more parts involving backing choirs and songs where guitars are abandoned in favour of monochromatic beats. Incredibly experimental, I’m sure…

Seldom is seen of anything that feels like Snow Patrol material, funnily enough. It’s all smothered with this desperate attempt to make themselves seem more “epic”. Beneath it, there remains very little substance: no momentary glimpse of beauty, no profound or intelligent lyrics and nothing we haven’t heard a hundred million times before. It’s uncertain whether this is a result of simply going through the motions or that they’re convinced that, in order to make a good album, you only have to copy others. In either case, it’s clear that the main problem Snow Patrol face is that they’re completely out of touch. U2 have slowly grinded to a halt and Coldplay are in the midst of changing their direction: it should be clear therefore that arena-rock doesn’t really impress anymore unless it has a new edge to it. And no, the inclusion of 2007-esc dance beats in two songs does not count.

To its credit, Fallen Empires doesn’t contain anything completely painful (with the exception of the lyrics, which often fall far short of the mark), there are a few sparks in what’s such a lifeless collection. The President, for instance, hails back to the days of Eyes Open. Nevertheless, like a spark it appears bright in the gloom, but when compared to the brighter days of Snow Patrol’s less recent material it struggles to hold your attention.

Ultimately, Fallen Empires is bland. It struggles to portray emotion yet it’s impossible to be connected through this overdramatic arena-rock template. If Snow Patrol truly consider this experimental, or indeed good, then it might be time for them to finally stop before they destroy the fond memory of one of the most popular alt-rock groups of the 2000’s.



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user ratings (90)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
Irving Tan STAFF (2.5)
On their first recording since the million-selling 2009 collection Up To Now, Snow Patrol sound lead...

Axel (1.5)
This isn't everything they are...

CasualListen (3)
"Fallen Empires" is Snow Patrol's softest album to date, but it is also a fresh and relaxing experie...


Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thank fuck I can listen to something else now.

How's my reviewing?

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


16789 Comments


Stream?

Digging: Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

minty901
December 23rd 2011


2080 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Excellent review. And I loved where you said "a hundred million times before". Pos.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

From google.

http://totallyfuzzy.blogspot.com/2011/11/snow-patrol-fallen-empires-album-stream.html

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

^^^ Thanks.
^ I don't know, it's kind of a toss up between Final Straw and Eyes Open.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


6506 Comments


It's already out in Europe (I thought), so is a stream really necessary then?

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


16789 Comments


I just asked because I didn't know if it was out yet

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


6506 Comments


Seldom is seen of anything that feels like Snow Patrol material, funnily enough.

It could be me, but I don't get what you're saying here.

Also,
leaving something that, while not completely bad, is not exactly good either.

This and the rest of the review reads more like a 2.5 than a 2... Which doesn't really matter, but oh well...

Otherwise, nice work! : )

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


6506 Comments


@ Sowing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallen_Empires_%28album%29
Third sentence: album was released on November 11 2011...

Cool that there is a stream, but I don't think I'll be checking this out.
Loved Eyes Open, though.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"It could be me, but I don't get what you're saying here."

I guess I was saying that they're copying others instead of developing themselves. I'll have a little edit later to make it clearer.

KILL
December 23rd 2011


72131 Comments


bands never been good

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


7404 Comments


This has been out for ages over here. Not bothered listening, though.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Well, they've never been outstanding but you can't deny that some of their stuff is at least "good".

Yuma310
December 23rd 2011


1656 Comments


Snow Patrol makes me nauseated

Acanthus
December 23rd 2011


9545 Comments


Never wanted anything more from this band after Eyes Open.

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

But more is always nice, right?

Acanthus
December 23rd 2011


9545 Comments


Nope, this and the other albums really seem to be lackluster.

Aphrodisiac
December 23rd 2011


1739 Comments


"I just asked because I didn't know if it was out yet"

do research before asking an incriminating question????

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Okay.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2011


31493 Comments


Completely thought this wasn't due out until next year for some reason

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4



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