I bought this album after buying 'Final Straw', the band's third album, which got me into Snow Patrol. I decided I really liked what I was listening to, and so I went and bought the band's other two albums - this being one of them.
At first I was sorely disappointed by this album, because to put it simply, 'Songs for Polarbears' is no 'Final Straw' - not by a long way. This album is not as poppy and so I struggled to like this, even after repeated listens. I gave it time and persisted, and after a month or two I've found myself loving this album to pieces - at present, I'm rating this as their best album.
Gary Lightbody's vocals are as gorgeous as ever throughout this album, and the only set-back I see is that they can be a little difficult to interpret - ie. it's hard to listen out for words that he's singing. Nevertheless this is remedied by the lyrics in the sleeve - which is very useful when you find yourself wanting to sing along to the songs.
The tracks that I have to mention are the single 'One Hundred Things You Should Have Done in Bed' (great tune but too short!), 'NYC' (will probably be the first song you like) and my personal favourite, 'Fifteen Minutes Old', which I can't praise enough.
So if you bought 'Final Straw' or you've heard songs off that album, and you're wondering whether or not to buy this album, I recommend that you do. Don't expect fireworks at first, because you'll feel let down. Give this a chance and I almost guarantee you'll be rewarded for listening.