Release Date: May 9, 2006
A&M Records | buy now
Eyes Open, Snow Patrol’s highly anticipated fourth album, follows up 2004’s double-platinum Final Straw with an incredible release that is, at times, a far deeper offering. The album, which consists of eleven solid tracks, hardly ever falters despite having what is seemingly a series of incredibly strong opening tracks.
The first two tracks of the album, “You’re All I Have” and “Hands Open” successfully provide fast-paced, enjoyable music that is likely to please the casual pop-rock fans, while also maintaining heartfelt, thought-provoking lyrics. Following this formula, “Shut Your Eyes” and “It’s Beginning To Get To Me” are also songs with great hit potential, sure to appease the MTV crowd.
While Eyes Open may have plenty to offer in regards to “radio-friendly” songs, there is also great depth provided with several slower-paced tracks on the album, such as “You Can Be Happy” and “Make This Go On Forever.” Furthermore, “Set The Fire To The Third Bar,” another ballad which is a cry for the redemption of a love that has been lost along the way, features Martha Wainwright, who adds such a dramatic effect as she sings in unison with Snow Patrol lead singer Gary Lightbody.
However, while each of these songs offer great insight, it is “Chasing Cars” that does so with such gracefulness and pertinence as it questions the meaning of a certain overused phrase: “I don’t quite know how to say how I feel. Those three words are said too much, they’re not enough.” The anthem, which has been featured on popular television programs such as One Tree Hill and Grey’s Anatomy, is perhaps the album’s most defining track.
For those who consider Snow Patrol to simply be a commercialized rock band, it would best be advised to listen close because even in the many up-tempo tracks that are on display here, there are stories to be told. What separates Snow Patrol from other “radio-friendly” bands is the lyrics to the songs, as they are just as effective on these tracks as they are on the ballads. Eyes Open is an incredibly solid offering displaying great depth throughout, with the one certainty here being that, regardless of the pace or style used on any given track, there’s a lot of love to be felt here.
Standout Tracks: “You’re All I Have”, “Hands Open”, “Chasing Cars”, “It’s Beginning To Get To Me”, “Open Your Eyes”.
– Christopher Griffin