Eyes Open by Snow Patrol should firmly establish the band on this side of the Atlantic. That they could produce such an assured work in a period when they lost their bassist and welcomed two new mem- bers is impressive in itself. With a mix of power rock and angst-ridden ballads, the Snow Patrol canvas is adorned with lush strokes and deft touches.
The melancholic “Chasing Cars” simmers and reaches a stunning crescendo, and is, as lead singer and chief songwriter Gary Lightbody puts it, “the most pure and open love song I have ever written.” It was no coincidence that it featured on the recent season finale of ABC’ s Grey’ s Anatomy, a medical drama about a surgical intern and a doctor who can’t decide if they are meant for one another or not.
The standout “You Could Be Happy” is Snow Patrol stripped down and raw and complements Lightbody’ s lovelorn lyrics beautifully. “And all of the things that I wish I had not said, Are played in loops ’til its madness in my head. It is too late to remind you how we were, Not our last days of silent screaming blur.” Lines like these will definitely resonate with many listeners.
The album was made in Dingle, County Kerry in a cottage once lived in by Kate Bush. Her presence can almost be felt in the guest vocals of Martha Wainwright in “Set the Fire to the Third Bar.”
It’ s not all doom and gloom, though, with “Headlights on Dark Roads,” “Eyes Open” and album opener “You’re All I Have” upping the tempo. The band uses the choir Celtic indie elite nicely in a few tracks though “Shut Your Eyes” sounds a bit too radio-friendly if anything. On the whole, though, this is great stuff, and if you want to add a little depth and feeling to your CD collection, consider adding Open Eyes by Snow Patrol in the “S” section. ♦