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SNOW PATROL A Hundred Million Suns (2008 UK 11-track CD album - Snow Patrol return with the follow-up to 2006s multi-platinum selling Eyes Open; A Hundred Million Suns which was produced by long time producer Jacknife Lee [Bloc Party REM U2] was recorded throughout Summer 2008 in Hansa Studios in Berlin [where Bowie recorded Low Heroes & Lodger) and at Grouse Lodge deep in the Irish countryside. Includes the single Take Back The City.)
Produit par le fidèle et toujours malin Jacknife Lee, A Hundred Million Suns a visiblement été écrit pour faire battre tous les cœurs à l’unisson. Snow Patrol retrouve sa voie : une voie d’autoroute qui se veut populaire, mais en s’assumant comme telle. Ce qui ne leur enlève aucunement leur crédibilité. Certes, Snow Patrol a pris le minimum de risques en tendant un peu trop vers la chanson pop à tendance sirupeuse. « If There's a Rocket Tie Me to It », qui ouvre l’album, sonne comme du U2 en mauvaise forme, tandis que « The Golden Floor » ressemble à s’y méprendre à une ballade de Sting - et pas des plus réussies.
On l’a compris : les Snow Patrol aiment leurs bonnes vieilles contrées britanniques, et ne perdent pas une occasion de leur rendre hommage. Cela étant, il le font plutôt bien. Car il y a des réussites dans ce A Hundred Million Suns. Les guitares de l’énergique « Disaster Button » sont d’une redoutable efficacité, et « Set Down Your Glasses » est un joli slow. C’est surtout le curieux « The Lightning Strike » qui vaut la peine d’écouter l’album jusqu’au bout. Ce morceau de seize minutes est d’une très belle richesse orchestrale, et Gary Lightbody y déploie tous ses talents d’interprètes.
Il sait également très bien en parler : « Les cuivres et les chœurs de la première partie, « What if This Storm Ends », un grand moment, ont été enregistrés au studio Olympic de Londres. La section du milieu, « Sunlight », se passe au bout de la côte ouest de l’Irlande. La dernière partie, « Daybreak », a vraiment été influencée par Hansa. Elle possède ce balancement Krautrock hypnotique, et des guitares genre héroïques se pâmant par-dessus. Pour tout ça, c’est un final approprié pour le disque ».
En effet. - Copyright 2016 Music Story
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Gary Lightbody, not to be confused with Gordon Lightfoot, writes with a modern, but pleasant charm with each track as showcased in "If There's A Rocket, Tie Me To It," "Crack The Shutters," and "The Planets Bend Between Us." And while the band does have one of its more sleepier moments in "Set Down Your Glass," they still know how to rock. The first single, "Take Back The City" never fails to satisfy, delivering on the verses, and bringing their A-Game on the chorus. It's catchy and fun, only overshadowed by the album's highlight "Please Take These Photos."
In fact, the only major misstep is the aptly titled "Disaster Button." Maybe it's the out-of-place lyrics, or the tiring music, but the song just seemed to rub me the wrong way. The very definition of an epic song, "The Lightning Strike," which clocks in at 16 minutes, also misses its mark, at least until the `Daybreak' segment. Another critique you could give the album is that it is highly unoriginal. So much in fact, it's been done before by the band, take it or leave it at that. I was also completely perplexed at the strange "The Golden Floor," which sounded rather like a poor excuse for Radiohead-lite.
"A Hundred Million Suns" doesn't set out to drastically reinvent the band, as their contemporaries Keane and Coldplay have done. Instead, the Snow Patrol is on full cruise control, and it all looks good from here, as fans will be pleased, and the band will inevitably gain new followers. The album at least equals "Eyes Open" in quality, and while no distinctive "Chasing Cars"-type song seems to be in the mix, the album delivers along the same lines. In either case, at $12 or less, the album is certainly worth it, and at the current price of $9 on Amazon, you certainly don't have anything to lose. I just can't decide what's the better band name, "Polar Bear," or "Snow Patrol?"
1. If There's a Rocket Tie Me To It
Good opener. Has a Coldplay feel in certain spots.
2. Crack the Shutters
Excellent. This song is everything I love about Snow Patrol. May be my favorite song on this album.
3. Take Back the City
Really catchy. The first single released, has been available for a while. Try to listen to it without singing "OoohAoohAoooh".
Folksy guitar pulls you in.
5. The Golden Floor
Catchy rhythm. Builds nicely but never really goes anywhere.
6. Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands
Typical Snow Patrol song name. Great song. Most upbeat one on the album.
7. Set Down Your Glass
Acoustic. Lovely song.
8. The Planets Bend Between Us
I may have spoken too soon. This might be my favorite now. Most likely to be used in a tv show.
The ooos are back. They get old pretty quick this time.
10. Disaster Button
The "explicit" one, look out. 1 F-bomb. Sounds a lot like track 3.
11. The Lightning Strike
Features more instrumentation than any other SP song I've ever heard. Brass, strings, piano, numerous drums, choir voices. If I didn't know better I'd say this was for a movie score. Finishes the album strong after two so-so songs. Instruments sound like rain. Seems to be a medley of sorts as the song changes significantly several times.
*song reviews are initial thoughts as I listened through the album the first time.
But it's the music (and vocals) that take center stage here. "Suns" takes you to a beautiful, exciting, sonic wonderland. The recording and production quality is superb. The overall atmosphere created is peaceful and relaxing...yet brilliant and vivacious at the same time.
Disregard any comparisons to Coldplay...this is more in line with Copeland's "You Are My Sunshine", another great album. It's tough to single out individual songs as 'the best'...every one one flows together to form a harmonious relationship...in other words, they all 'fit' perfectly on the record.
I don't quite understand some of the less-than-stellar reviews I had read before this was released...to me, this is about as good as it gets for Snow Patrol. Enjoy.
I've been listening to SP since the beginning - from the Polar Bear days - and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to them "grow up" - musically, vocally and lyrically over that time. I absolutely loved Eyes Open and Final Straw - but A Hundred Million Suns has me begging for more and being impatient for what SP can produce next time around. The lyrics, music and Gary's fantastically growing vocal capabilities, leaves me aching to hear more. Personally think Crack the Shutters is THE song on this album, followed pretty closely by Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands and The Lightning Strike. Heard/watched them perform most of this album live in Sydney, and it's as good live as on the album ... played with same perfection as their Eyes Open concerts last year. The ultimate professionals, full of so much enthusiasm for what they're doing. If this is the first SP album you ever buy / listen too, and like, make sure you get the two preceding albums. They round out the SP sound.
However, I do have some reservations about their latest release. The album just feels rushed, intended for the halls of epic Scottish concert castles rather than the windy emotional fields overlooking a vast ocean. Snow Patrol has always been the soundtrack of the introspective life, undoubtably the vaunted thought stream of a conscious and experiencing individual. However, with Hundred Million Suns, rather than define the moment, this album is merely playing in the background giving force to the rest of life. The music has taken a backseat. The writing and melody has definitely taken a more steady beat than previous releases, as Eyes Open or Final Straw. Many cords and similar choruses remain, but no longer have the same startling or stirring effect.
They have been slowly on this pop-y, over-guitar-ed path for some time now. You could definitely see it coming with Eyes Open, a compilation intended to draw wider audiences. While an appreciatable work of art, Suns is more a stumble than another true, original step. Gary is lost, his boots are muddy with promises, and he's trying to muster enough energy to keep going. I really hope he does, and I look forward to Snow Patrol's next release.