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Fallen Empires Best of

4.5 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Nov. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of
  • Label: Fiction
  • ASIN: B005NGYQTM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,258 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Fallen Empires is the sixth studio album from Snow Patrol, a band who have sold over 11 million albums and been responsible for some of the most instantly recognisable songs in the past decade, including "Run", "Chocolate" and "Chasing Cars". Former albums have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, Grammys and MTV Europe Music Awards, with Final Straw landing the band an Ivor Novello Award in 2005.

The album was recorded in the iconic The Joshua Tree National Park in south-eastern California. In October 2010, the band drove out into the desert with their guitars and one or two rough song ideas. A week later, their writing session at Rancho De La Luna Studios had laid the foundations of the tracks that would comprise Fallen Empires. Over several months, the five piece--singer Gary Lightbody, guitarist Nathan Connolly, bassist Paul Wilson, drummer Jonny Quinn and keyboardist, Tom Simpson--began a musical road trip around California. They recorded tracks at Eagles Watch, a topsy turvy house in Santa Monica with widescreen windows and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Backing vocals were drawn from the LA Inner City Mass Gospel Choir in Compton, south central LA. Later, tracks were mixed at the studio owned by longterm collaborator, Garret "Jacknife" Lee--a hacienda tucked away in Topanga Canyon, the one time hippy commune and former home to Neil Young and Woody Guthrie.

Along the way, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, US singer Lissie and Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist, Troy Van Leeuwen all popped by to lend a guitar part here, a lyric idea there. Meanwhile, Snow Patrol's new adventures seeped into every note on Fallen Empires. The result is an album that promises to redefine the band as an altogether more ambitious, more expansive, creative force.

BBC Review

Snow Patrol’s sixth studio album is billed as a change in direction – but don’t get flustered. While Fallen Empires contains a few new musical tricks, it would be an exaggeration to label this a revolution in sound.

Snow Patrol are often mentioned in the same breath as Coldplay, and it’s not surprising: both bands grew up with U2 dominating their horizons, and both have been inspired by their gutsy, catchy pop. Fallen Empires betrays this love of U2, and in particular their 1991 LP Achtung Baby: in come synths, thrusting bass lines and a hint of electronica. The opening pair of songs here – I’ll Never Let Go and Called Out in the Dark – wear this influence on their sleeves readily.

The trouble is that these two songs are flimsy at best. Called Out in the Dark is the lead single, yet is a pure mistake of style over substance: a song that has the traditional Snow Patrol shape, dominated by Gary Lightbody’s vocal, but where the guitars have been binned just for the sake of it, just to try something ‘new’. It sounds too try-hard and trite.

Get these cuts out of the way, though, and Fallen Empires settles down and improves. Yes, the title-track is pure Bono and company, but now there is passion and conviction in the delivery, Snow Patrol allowing a propulsive rhythm to burgeon and turn threatening. The piano-led ballads arrive, and the band relaxes: this is their forte. This Isn’t Everything You Are, The Garden Rules and Those Distant Bells are indisputably great pop songs, full of sparkle and warmth.

Best of all, however, are the moments when Snow Patrol blend the two approaches together, combining their own aesthetic with an Achtung Baby adoration. New York and In the End are the massive, sweeping songs that form the heart of Fallen Empires. These are the songs you can envision in the stadiums; the songs that show Snow Patrol could just as easily be as big as Coldplay and, yes, U2. It’s here where Fallen Empires nails it, and where their fans will start drooling. --Mike Haydock

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Wow. If you have a choice get this CD+DVD combination! ... and for £2---£3 more than the vanilla CD it's a bargain. In fact on it's own it would be worth the purchase... if it was available on it's own!
Unlike most combinations the DVD is unrelated to the present album. Instead it is about 65minute highlight (the best songs) from the ReWorked tour. It was filmed at arguably the best acoustically and visually concert venue in London - the Royal Albert Hall in late 2009. For those who weren't there / haven't heard or seen it it features songs from the previous 6 albums reworked acoustically and featuring classic instruments - including (and the reason for the RAH venue recording) the enormous (and I mean enormous) organ (about 5x10metres at the back of the RAH)... the audio of which is used on Dark Roman Wine and the sound (I was there) shakes you to your core! Impressive stuff! A few songs (Run) don't work in that maybe you miss the version you know and love - but 7 out of the 11 or so tracks are amazing with Chasing Cars getting an amazing reworking that'll leave you singing along (in your head at least) and toe-tapping away!
Audio is uncompressed stereo or a nice 5.1 mix!
Possibly the only unfortunate thing is that this was never released on it's own as I'm sure the whole gig would have been filmed! The full set runs nearly 2h30mins and contains 26 tracks!).
It's also a peeve of mine that they again only included a few tracks on the previous concert (Take Back the City) on the Up To Now DVD! Why not a full live concert DVD. Surely a band that have sold nearly 10 million albums have enough fans to have a concert DVD that's more recent than 2005 (before the big hits of Run, Chasing Cars and others!
Anyway, the CD, othere'll review it better than me so all I'll say is Mr Lightbody is an amazing song writer so it'd get several stars if he was reading the lyrics :)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is getting some surprisingly mixed reviews here which is a shame. I am not the biggest SP fan, BUT this album does feel like they were on a roll when writing and recording it. I even think this could be their 'Sargeant Pepper' moment - it's that consistently strong if a little dark and gloomy at times. Tracks like 'This isn't everything you are', 'Fallen Empires', 'New York' and 'Called out in the dark' are both anthemic and somewhat menacing. Snow Patrol are almost becoming the thinking man's Colplay, but still seem to play second fiddle to them.

However, compared with Coldplay's somewhat overproduced Mylo album, this album is rich in texture and style. 'Fallen Empires' for example is like being hit between the eyeballs with something heavy - it's just very powerful stuff. Is there a 'Chasing Cars' on here? Well no, but there are plenty of close to moments when you feel Gary Lightbody is a fine songwriter and lyricist. 'New York', for example, contains a load of great lyrics about loneliness ... 'if you were here instead of...'.

So, it's definitely not an album to get out at a party but then we have plenty of stuff like that around. This is more deep and meaningful and very welcome for that.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I watched shooting for Socrates...great film.....and the song lifening..was a song though simple, the lyrics were perfect..my last and only introduction to snow patrol was for me far too bleak...like coldplayand the like.....but fallen empires really is top draw! It's travel music....with cars at speed on motorways at night, with that thing they do with dragging the light...that speeds up the journey.....the danger is all them 6 pack God's emerging from the sea.on Christmas adverts lightbodymmmm the smell of Christmas sprouts.....followed by some young model who hasn't' eaten since landing in London tucking into the contents of his Speedo's.......this is not everything you are......playing over the top.....that is the potential downfall of a great album.........really enjoyed,and good luck northern ireland in France.
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I was in a Bar one night some weeks ago when I heard this song come over the speakers. It haunted me throughout the evening. I should have asked who/what it was, as new music does not usually appeal to me so instantly these days, but I never got around to it. Then after a few glasses of wine I of course forgot all about it... Then one evening seeing the end of 'Wossy' (I never watch him - and only caught the end of the show by chance whilst waiting for something else to come on) I heard this song again! I tried to get the name of the band, but with Ross's dreadful diction, did not catch it, but did at the end credits and it was 'Snow Patrol'. I'd never really heard or paid much attention to what they'd done before - but this track called: 'Called Out In The Dark' was absolutely amazing and really got to me! It has a great catchy beat and the lead singer has a rich 'fruitcake' type voice which somehow helps the hooks and is reminiscent of one or two other singers that I like - particularly Kurt Maloo of 80s pop band 'Double' - with a little Morten Harket of 'A-Ha' thrown in at times. I just had to purchase the album this track was taken from - but in the meantime; I was so hooked on this tune I could not get it out of my head and I just couldn't wait and purchased the download of the single whilst waiting for my CD to arrive! I ended up playing it all night! (at least two hours continuous on a loop!) Have not done this with a song since the 70s/80s, and is what we used to buy singles for in those days.

On first hearing; the album itself did not impress me much - it did not help that the first track is probably the weakest song on the album.
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