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music reviews

Snow Patrol Eyes Open by Brandon “Heterosexual” Horn

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Music, Food, and God

I enjoy cooking. It’s a fun, creative outlet that sometimes provides edible, and on rare occasions, even delicious results. It is somewhat fraught with disaster though, as it is much easier to produce an average or poor result than to attain culinary nirvana. Poor ingredients, random oversights, bad timing, or general lack of kitchen savviness can easily topple the palatable structure of the meal you’re attempting to create.

Thanks go to your deity of choice for providing the foresight to keep an ample amount of wine on hand for my experimentation, which itself could rightly be the cause of occasional mishaps. So perhaps I should rescind my thanks. Then again, it’s never a good idea to piss off gods.

Regardless, my point is that making music is very much like cooking; you need voluminous amounts of alcohol to do both. More to the point, however, is that you must avert the many pitfalls and find a way to meld your ingredients into something more than each is on its own.

Snow Patrol have had moments in the past where their talent and potential are quite visible. But their lack of depth and passion have left their bland, laterally-appealing sound more than a little unsatisfying. Not that listening to their music has made me take a swig of musical vino to flood my aurally displeased palate, but that they have not significantly added to my general enjoyment.

Eyes Open, however, begins to blend their positive traits into a much more interesting, involving sound. Their cadence is a bit more diverse. Their annoying, predictable repetition has been replaced with building, inviting reiterations. Their thinly-veiled, mass-marketed catchiness has somehow turned the corner, transforming into genuinely catchy, interesting music.

Perhaps an analogy paralleling wine rather than cooking would be more appropriate, as Snow Patrol seem to have matured on this fourth album of theirs, producing a very rich, intoxicating sound. Be that as it may, what’s done is done, and we’re talking food here. As such, Snow Patrol have managed to whip together a surprisingly delectable result.

In a review of Snow Patrol’s previous album, Final Straw, I happily stated “when it comes down to it, Snow Patrol lacks that oh-so-critical element of soul that makes music worthwhile.” And I still agree with that assessment of that album. Eyes Open, conversely, has figuratively done that to mine. Their tasty musical meal has suddenly made me believe that there is hope afterall, for this band’s life and afterlife.

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