Snow Patrol's new album ‘Fallen Empires’ arrives with a serious reputation attached. The band have sold over 11 million albums and have been responsible for several era-defining singles, including ‘Run’, ‘Chocolate’, and ‘Chasing Cars’ (voted song of the decade in a Channel 4 poll). Their albums have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, Grammys and MTV Europe Music Awards, with ‘Final Straw’ landing them an Ivor Novello Award in 2005. By anyone’s standards, it's been a pretty good century so far.
On first listen, it’s immediately apparent that their sixth studio album ‘Fallen Empires’ breaks new ground for the band. “We decided that we wanted to make a record unlike any other we've made before” says singer Gary Lightbody. Bolting distorted, electro guitar riffs, club-friendly drums and anthemic choruses to Lightbody's heart-bruised lyricism, this is an album that takes its cues from LCD Soundsystem's ‘The Sound Of Silver’ and U2's ‘Achtung Baby’.
But despite the experimentation, ‘Fallen Empires’ still retains the essence of Snow Patrol’s appeal.
The overall results are an album that should mark Snow Patrol as a band big on experimental ideas as well as stadium sized anthems. 'Fallen Empires' feels like a suitably weighty follow-up to the platinum success of 2008’s ‘A Hundred Millions Suns’ and the million-selling 2009 collection ‘Up To Now’ - it is simply their best record to date.
"This feels like a proper record to me," says Gary. "A grown up record, but a fun record. I've always wanted to make an album that could rank with the ones that inspire me, and hopefully this one will. Listening to it thrills me and that is a beautiful thing indeed.”