Review: Snow Patrol, ‘Fallen Empires’

Review: Snow Patrol, ‘Fallen Empires’: Aidin Vaziri | Do bands suffer midlife crises? It sure feels like Snow Patrol is going through something on its sixth studio album, “Fallen Empires,” where the onetime purveyors of earnest, widescreen guitar rock anthems (you might remember them from “Chasing Cars,” as featured in every CW television drama ever) decide to dress up their perfectly fine soul-searching tunes with clinical dance beats and electronic whooshes. A bad move considering U2’s “Achtung Baby” was reissued just a few weeks ago. How does Snow Patrol get it wrong? The first 30 seconds of the album sound like the opening theme of “Knight Rider,” while “The Weight of Love” feels like a Depeche Mode song from 1995 – the year that group’s singer attempted suicide. Worse, Snow Patrol abruptly abandons the synths and beats midway through the album and unloads a bunch of dewy-eyed ballads of which “Lifening” is the biggest offender, not only because is it called “Lifening” but because of lyrics like “This is all I ever wanted from life/ Ireland in the World Cup/ Either north or south.” In the one instance where the band actually nails it, on the weightless electro-pop of “Called Out in the Dark,” you wonder why the rest of the record didn’t come together in the same way. It’s nothing a few months on the therapist’s couch can’t fix.

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