Under Review: Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns

It’s funny that I’m reviewing the new disc from Snow Patrol so close to Halloween, because my connection to the band is decidedly spooky. At one of the semi-annual ‘monster shows’ in south Jersey, I met Patricia Quinn, who played Magenta in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I mentioned that I worked at a radio station (she may have asked about a Y-Rock button I was wearing), and she wanted to know if we played her nephew’s band. As it turns out, Patricia is the aunt of Johnny Quinn, Snow Patrol’s drummer. At the time, the Scottish quintet were still riding high from 2006’s Eyes Open and its massive single, “Chasing Cars.” For A Hundred Million Suns, Gary Lightbody and company maintain their energy and bombast, but in a much more contemplative and focused manner. As the album’s title suggests, many of the songs conjure images of outer space, like “The Planets Bend Between Us” and “Engines.” Musically, the album recalls the mellow glitch of The Shins‘ most recent album; though the upbeat moments in songs like “Take Back The City” and “Disaster Button” keep the cosmic balance in order. The last third of the album’s 58 minutes is made up of “The Lightning Strike,” a three-part oeuvre that is, in itself, a miniature version of the whole record. A Hundred Million Suns might be the portrait of a band taking a daydream break from their usual epic nature, but even a modest Snow Patrol is still Snow Patrol, and that’s how the message ran.

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~ by E. on November 4, 2008.

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