I’m not sure if Snow Patrol have a time machine or not, but seven years after releasing Fallen Empires they’re back and sounding exactly how you expected they would – it’s like they’ve never been away. For many bands that have had great success, they release an album after a long break and they’ve lost that initial magic; this hasn’t happened here. When they tour this album, you will enjoy the new tracks because they’re as good as they ever were, their old favourites will slip seamlessly into their set, and you’ll be singing all night long.
By Martin Frank
When you play their old albums against this one it’s unbelievable how well they sit against each other. Wildness is filled with great track after great track, it’s like listening to a best of album overflowing with songs that you haven’t heard yet. They are catchy, cleverly written, Heal Me and Empress are anthems that when played live you will join in and wave your phone in the air.
As soon as the album starts Life On Earth eases you in with an easy acoustic guitar and the lilting voice of Gary Lightbody, who busks your memory reminding you why you liked Snow Patrol in the first place. Their music is melodic and easy like a walk in a wood, it relaxes you as it takes you somewhere special that you’ve never been before. Then Don’t Give In bursts in spinning you round with a Latino feel and you want to dance, and before you know it the album takes you higher again as the anthems rush over you taking you with them into their world. “I call out your name and it feels like a song I know so well,” they sing and it does, it’s all so amazingly new and familiar and will make you sing in your car like a loon.
I have listened to this album over and over again and there’s not a bad track here, no fillers, no self-indulgence just an avalanche of great music and great lyrics. What if this is all the love you will ever get? Is a gloriously simple piece with just a piano for accompaniment, they strip the track to basics and we get another piece to sing along to. This album is a journey along a road we’ve been down before but with a fresh look we can see things we hadn’t notice previously and it’s glorious.
Somehow Empress takes you back in time; it feels like one of the old Snow Patrol songs and you’ll be sure you’ve heard it before, but you haven’t and it’s new so enjoy it and sing along, “This is all damn simple yeah, this is all damn simple”. And this is how they make it look, this album isn’t a comeback because they never went away – they’re still here within us which is why this album feels so good.
Wildness is available now.