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4.5 out of 5 stars164
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 7 March 2004
Snow Patrol are without doubt 2004's success story!After being hyped up with their first album 'songs for polar bears', they seemed to have faded off into obscurity due to lack of promotion, interest despite a critically acclaimed follow up 'when its all.....'!but now they are back, in the form of a reissue of their third album 'final straw' and its finally getting them the recognition they deserve!
Often when a band has a popular single (in this case 'run'), people are often disappointed by the rest of the album, I can safely say this is not the case. True the strong point of the album is probably the three singles ('spitting games', 'chocolate' and 'run') bunched together mid-album but there are many other great tracks too. 'how to be dead' is my highlight, closely followed by 'ways and means'.
Definately one of the albums of the year and fully deserved. Contributing to a chart revival alongside bands such as keane and franz ferdinand. Roll on album number four!
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on 29 March 2004
I bought this album after seeing Snow Patrol support Athlete. They were awesome live and really got the crowd going, so I thought buying their album seemed like a good thing to do. Good? It's one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life! Looking at these reviews, I can't believe one tone deaf visitor to Amazon rated it with 3 stars and called it "boring". I can only think they got this cd mixed up with something else. This album is full of gems such as 'Run', 'Same' 'Chocolate' and my personal favourite 'Spitting Games'. Enough upbeat tracks to counteract the melancholy ones, but all somehow manage to tug at the heartstrings. A truly magnificent album displaying how indie music should be done. As a student, it cost me a week's worth of food. I'm not complaining, it was worth starving myself for! Just buy it and then go see them live (they're playing V and Glastonbury I think, hurray!) You won't be disappointed.*****!
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on 3 February 2004
There are many albums you buy on the strength of one single, only to find the rest of the album doesn't match up.
Final Straw is not one of those albums. I bought this on the sheer strength of 'Run' (as many people will), and I'm amazed at the quality of the other 13 songs.
Often, many bands that do great anthemic songs don't do other genres well. Every base is covered here - the absolutely lovely strings on 'Grazed Knees' contrast very well with the rock outs of 'Wow' and 'Gleaming Auction' and the incredible catchy power pop of 'Spitting Games'.
The songs are heavily electric guitar based, but there are some unusual twists - the electronic beeps and clicks on 'Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking' adds freshness and isn't too Radiohead.
As for the lyrics and the vocals - both suit the style of the music perfectly.
I've heard comparisons with Coldplay, which although a definite complement, isn't very imaginative. Snow Patrol have realised an album which standouts on it's own merits.
I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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on 19 February 2004
I always do this. I buy an album on impulse having only ever heard one track from the record. Have to say though - 4 out of 5 times i get it right and I was so right with this one. I based my judgement purely on "Run" - the only track that most people who don't own the album know - and the rest of the album definitely doesn't let you down.
I've listened to it 3 times all the way through and it already feels like I've owned it a lifetime. A good place to be with any record i think.
Other impulse buy albums that I've had for months, years even, i still haven't bothered to listen to them all the way through because the first half was so awful.
"spitting games" is amongst one of my favourites on the album, along with "Somewhere a clock is ticking" and of course "Run", to name a few. If you're the kind that believes that "Run" was boring, then i wouldn't recommend this album for you, as that is their style and there is a thread of that throughout the album, with different slants, different sounds and different tempos. If, however, you love "Run" then i suggest you buy this record sharpish. Enjoy!
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on 8 October 2004
Was shocked to see so many people trashing this album! I really liked it. However I do think you have to get into it. I bought it because it won so many awards and stuff, I loved, 'Chocolate', 'Run' and 'Spitting Games' and one of my mates bought it and said that he loved it. The first time I played it I was well disappointed, I thought the tracks all blended into one and were generally depressing. However after listening to it a few more times it has grown on me and the songs have become more memorable. I think if you take the time to appreciate it, it's well worth it. If you are a fan of slightly dismal (I mean that in the nicest possible way)indie type stuff then definately get it but even if you generally like stuff a bit more upbeat like I do it's still a quality album. Plus the lyrics are very good and it is clear they haven't just come up with a class tune and slapped any old crap over the top. The guitar playing is also excellent and Gary Lightbody's singing is fairly unique. To sum up, buy it if you can be bothered to listen to it enough times to get to like it - about 4 in my case.
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on 10 August 2003
We've been left waiting a while now for Snow Patrols third album.Boy,though,do you forget that upon hearing their offering.Since the last outing, 'When its all over we still have to clear up',they've got themselves a new record company,a new guitarist and a whole new energy.
Final Straw is an album which encapsulates the Snow Patrol trademark of snappy rock songs with beautiful melodies.Lightbodys lyrics are wonderfully written and his voice as ever,completely charming.
With the twelve songs on the album,i am positive there be something for everyone.From the crunching guitars on Whatevers Left,Summer Bop of Spitting Games to the bewitching sound of Run,you're in for a real treat.
Final Starw is an album which completely captivates you,i predict this as album of the year!
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on 19 February 2004
I'd never really heard of Snow Patrol before and after buying it from Amazon when it had just come out, through recommendations from a friend, I was amazed at how I missed this band for so long!!! They are truly diverse and moving in their song writing, with brilliant melodic songs like the morbidly named 'How to be dead' and rocking songs like 'Wow'. My favourite would have to be 'How to be dead', although songs that you may recognise, such as 'run' and 'spitting games' are full of atmosphere when turned up real loud in the car or at home. Even if you're not into this kind of genre of music, i'd strongly recommend it. It has to be one of the best albums I own.
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on 15 August 2005
I have to confess that this is my brother's album but having listened to it i wanted to buy it off him immediately because this is a top album. Having heard 'run' and 'spitting games'I thought they were OK but not brilliant, but some songs on here such as 'how to be dead' and 'wow' prove they are very good. If I'm not tired I listen to this before I go to bed because it is very relaxing and enjoyable to listen to. The bonus tracks should have been left on the shelf but apart from that, this is an album of good, mature and relaxing songwriting. It gets the thumbs up from me.
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on 7 February 2004
If you're sceptical about the amount of praise heaped on this album by previous reviewers, then don't be. This was the best album of 2003 - along with Elbow's astonishing 'Cast of Thousands' - and I was afraid it would get overlooked. Fortunately, with the Top 5 success of the single 'Run', it looks like getting the recognition it deserves.
It's actually very rare to hear a genuinely consistent record, but every song on 'Final Straw' is a classic. I promise I'm not exaggerating. From the bittersweet 'How to be dead' to the haunting 'Same' (excluding the 2 bonus tracks), it delights, provokes, teases and tittilates. Aside from 'Run' - which needs no introduction - the overlooked first single 'Spitting games' sounds like a gorgeous collision between 'Bossanova'-era Pixies and Teenage Fanclub, while 'Chocolate' boasts the most touching chorus since Blur's 'Tender'. Elsewhere, 'Ways & Means' wouldn't sound out of place on Radiohead's 'The Bends', and as for 'Gleaming Auction'.....well, any song that begins with the line "I got tired of the heart attacks" gets my vote!
But ultimately it's pointless to single out individual songs. 'Final Straw is an album which runs the full gamut of emotions - elation, despair, hope, regret and joy - and the cumulative effect is awesome. Believe the hype.
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on 25 February 2005
Contrary to popular belief, Final Straw is the third album by Snow Patrol, and it's a major improvement on the first two albums - which had one or two utterly brilliant tracks and too many mediocre ones.

As other reviewers have said, the opening track "How to be Dead" pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album. Another single, "Chocolate", plods along without really getting anywhere, although the album takes its name from the chorus. It's unfortunate that "Run" is so played-out as it really is a lovely, simple song. "Tiny Little Fractures" is terribly catchy, a single that (sadly) never was.

Although Snow Patrol are best-known for Coldplayesque ballads, they are at their best when they stray into darker territory. The best songs on this edition of the album are easily "Ways and Means", "Somewhere a Clock is Ticking" and bonus track "Half The Fun", with slightly edgier lyrics and more deranged guitar lines (particularly on Half The Fun).

It's not going to win any awards as the greatest album ever written, but I really can't understand how other reviewers hated it so much. Mellow without being depressing, emotional without being draining, and broad enough to have something for everyone.
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