Review Summary: "Fallen Empires" is Snow Patrol's softest album to date, but it is also a fresh and relaxing experience casual listeners will quickly grow to love. Snow Patrol's empire hasn't fallen yet and I hope it won't!
Snow Patrol's 6th studio album "Fallen Empires" is a fresh and relaxing soft rock record. Although "Final Straw" is still a much better album, this could be one of the band's better moments.
What shocked me about "Empires" is how mellow and different this album is from the rest of the band's discography. While my two favorite singles: New York and Called Out in the Dark provide the familiar formula we are used to from songs like Signal Fire, How to Be Dead and Chasing Cars...I still really loved the album's softer moments. Songs like The Garden Rules, The Symphony, The President and especially Fallen Empires feel very different than the heavy rock sound Snow Patrol used to have. These songs feel like something you might here in an English Film or family television program. I feel like I'm in another country when I listen to these songs. I love it because, even though it's not the band's best work, I feel as though they've broken through a barrier that has trapped them into such a repetitive sound in past albums...and are now warming up for something incredible in their next effort. They're so close to reaching out to more people and finding new fans.
Unfortunately, this MIGHT be an album to be mostly appreciated by fans of the soft rock genre. Some Snow Patrol fans might even be turned off by the band's departure from their old sound. Accoustic Guitars and slow moving piano chords are very prominent. There aren't too many hard rock hits like there were in "Final Straw" and "Eyes Open." Even "A Hundred Million Suns" had Engines and Disaster Button to sort of break the slow pace. And I thought "Suns" was a soft effort by the band.
"Fallen Empires" isn't really a boring album, though (with all of the love in my heart) it might put some listeners to sleep. The song Fallen Empires is the album's most energetic song, but it's missing a break or a chorus. The lyrics are fantastic, but it's like listening to a five minute first verse of an exciting song. All of the build up leads to nothing. It's a cool experience, but I wished it could have been a little more. Lifening is one of the two weakest songs on the album. Although, I did love how Lightbody considers Ireland's entering The World Cup as one thing he ever really wants from life. Not so much love or world peace, but the North or South will be fine!!! I'll Never Let Go was sleep inducing. A VERY poor track choice to open the album. It was so boring.
This Isn't Everything You Are is a great track. It sort of recalls songs like Chasing Cars and The Planets Bend Between us, though it doesn't surpass them. I loved how sad the lyrics were. This is actually a great album for adults. It's very romantic. The band put a lot of work into the writing.
All in all, I think "Fallen Empires" is a warm-up for something HUGE. I keep saying that about all of the old bands releasing new work. Sadly, it doesn't pack the big loud punch their previous efforts did. However, for adult fans of soft rock and prime-time ABC family television programs (like me - the biggest dork alive) it's a great buy! I loved its atmosphere. Between the 15 songs, I was only really upset with two or three. It's a good album; I can't wait to see what they do next!