Snow Patrol

Fallen Empires

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The sixth studio album from the moody Glasgow-via-Belfast outfit finds the group adding a dash of electronica into its already wintry mix of confessional late-November alt-rock and one-fist-pumping, mini-arena pop. Opening with the one-two punch of “I’ll Never Let Go” and “Called Out in the Dark,” Fallen Empires establishes an expansive vista of sound early on, bathing fairly simple melodies in waves of fastidious loops and sparse percussion. The band’s penchant for crafting emotionally charged, if not entirely memorable, midtempo Brit-pop anthems still dominates, but standout cuts like the gorgeous ballads “The Garden Rules” and “Those Distant Bells,” as well as the surprisingly immediate title cut, prove that Snow Patrol still have the potential to hit the sweet spot between U2's stadium baiting, Coldplay's icy elegance, and Elbow's art school-infused, north country soul.

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