Wake up, wake up”, Gary Lightbody begs on new track ‘Lifeboats’. We can’t help but reiterate the same plea (only with more fervour). It’s 14 years since Snow Patrol banded together, two years since their last album, and now they’re back with more grandiose songs of love and
loss. The only problem is, they’re still wolfing down Coldplay’s leftovers like it’s their last supper.
A few facts remain: yes, the album is inoffensively acceptable; yes, their Kleenex-dabbing sentiment is well intended; and yes, no-one would begrudge their mainstream success as undeserved in terms of jail-time spent in indie obscurity. But, haven’t we been here before? The answer is a rousing ‘YES’. As far as the pop-rocking vets’ fifth studio album is concerned, it runs out of steam about as quickly as Tom Chaplin on a hamster wheel.
The checklist is ticked off to precision: romantic balladry for those drive-time ladies; battery-farmed U2 guitars for the fellas; whitewashed production for new fans across the Atlantic (about a decade behind on the uptake, but better late than never), oh, and a spot of Krautrock chin-rubbing for all those who have written them off as mainstream radio-fodder (er, that’ll be us).
It’s all so methodically planned that even standout radio-wave surfer ‘Take Back The City’ and producer Jacknife Lee struggle to stamp fresh life into this mega-selling formula. Don’t get us wrong, they will shift units – just don’t bank on that Mercury.