Review: Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires
In fact, guitar work seems to be kept to a minimum on this album, as the likes of Fallen Empires and In the End try to be more danceable and upbeat with their two bit synthesized backdrops that would sound more characteristic and better executed on an album from indietronic duo MGMT, who would probably create a more fun performance of the track. Gary Lightbody's vocals were not made for fun sounding songs. In fact that issue is tackled in The Weight of Love and Called Out in the Dark, badly. At various points Lightbody tries adapting his vocals so they reach a little higher. I don't know why, maybe it's to add more versatility, maybe he's afraid of sounding too monotone. But it doesn't suit him at all, it sounds desperate and cheesy.
This overuse of synths effects the intended to be emotional songs really allows the performances to falter. Tracks like New York and The President sound weak as the background sound is a digital yawn with the occasional drum beat thrown in for good measure and it manages to strip the song of any power it may want to deliver.
Lyrically, the styles that we have seen similar to Snow Patrol's previous work remain, which is a good thing, considering many songs have the kind of music suggesting we'd get some happy-clappy nonsense, with the most interesting set of lyrics provided in Lifening.
Apart from that, there's nothing that could allow Fallen Empires to be thought of as a strong album. The synthesizer effects are dull, Lightbody's attempts to improve his vocals make them sound worse and nothing that has made previous releases so exciting and beautiful are present. I've tried to ignore the common belief by other critics that Snow Patrol are a dull band but with this album, such a claim will be hard to ignore.
Snow Patrol's Fallen Empires is out now via Fiction Records. The band will tour the UK in January with Everything Everything.