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Snow Patrol
A Hundred Million Stars
Fiction Records
www.snowpatrol.com


Lightning rarely strikes twice… but hardly ever thrice. But here's the proof… A Hundred Million Stars is the record that was a statistical impossibility. After their first two records being very solid alt. rock forays, Snow Patrol went on to craft two of the very finest records in modern music with Final Straw and Eyes Open. There was no way they were going to be able to strike that same precious amazingness a third time, but somehow, inexplicably, they have done just that. The sound of A Hundred Million Stars is as fresh and energetic as the last two records have been, filled with a pop urgency that few bands manage to capture live, much less on record. The opening track "If There's A Rocket Tie Me To It" is a perfect example of the reason that Gary Lightbody and company are so excellent at their craft. The song starts softly, slowly building into an introspective and literate reflection on a relationship before exploding into a glorious chorus of rock and roll bliss. And if that sounds over-the-top, it really isn't. That's really what happens. "Crack The Shutters" is the continuation of such classic Snow Patrol tunes as "How To Be Dead" and "Chasing Cars" - pop perfection with dynamic musicianship. Then the band turns up the rock coefficient for "Take Back The City", a nice tune that gives slight nods to "vintage" British bands with its brash guitar lines and throbbing rhythm. If you need more proof, check out "Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands"… it's remarkable, but it doesn't need to be with a great title like that.

Despite what the naysayers would have you believe, great Britpop is not dead. The boys in Snow Patrol continue to create lush, powerful pop music with a distinctly British edge… and somehow, they've managed to do it for an entire album again. Not a throwaway song on the entire disc. That is lightning striking that we can all agree with.

-L. Keane

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