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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 5 January 2006
I've done the same as many others, started at Final Straw and worked backwards. - None will dissapoint. As you would expect this one is a little more rough around the edges but is probably better for it. Recommended.
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on 6 April 2005
I bought all 3 snow patrol albums in a backward order because the latest one (final straw)I loved it so much i played it to absolute death and so needed to get my teeth in to their past releases. Their second album I played to death as well, so then naturally bought 'Songs for polar bears'. I knew very well on the first listen it would take some time to get used to. I percivered (cant spell that word) and am in love with this. I think its brilliant. Its taken many listens but was certainly worth the wait It took and thats how i like albums. To grow slowly and develope into something great. I dont always pick up the tunes at first listen and have to let them grow. Thats a good way to get your moneys worth, 20 listens of getting used to and a 1000 listens of pure pleasure. I listen to this album on my head phones at the gym to drown out the poppy radio rubbish that drives me away early. A brilliant album by brilliant song writers. Well worth the cash.
PS, I like all the songs on this album as were I like only 85% on final straw!
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on 10 August 2006
Snow Patrol, when they were raw.

Granted they hadn't been together too long before they released this, but damn it's good!

If you're looking for a more hard edge, less "neat", more raggedy Snow Patrol with a few less of those slow anthemic songs-than look no further.

Personal favourites include: Starfighter Pilot, and Raze the City.

Go for it, you won't regret it.
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on 20 June 2004
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.
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on 4 February 2005
I listened to the album 'Final Straw' and liked it a lot and so I listened to their fist album 'Songs For Polar Bears'which was amazing!!! It is very raw,music and a lot less commercial than their latest album.The music and vocals,in this are great.The lyrics included in the sleve are cool, if a little strange!I loved this album when I first heard it and it grows on you too. Some songs are cheerful and catchy, while others are more thoughtful. Definately my favourite band at the moment! - buy it now, it rocks!!!! :-)
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ok, i'm not much with words but respect must be paid to the brilliance that is snow patrol. such diversity with sounds is unequalled in my collection. every track fits a mood and for every mood there's a track. if you haven't heard any of it, give it a chance and i'm sure you'll agree that there's just one question, why haven't they gone stella yet? as one radio 1 critic said; if we could have any band's baby, these would be our boys. as for being 'a bit overlong' i disagree, i can't get enough. the best i've got, and a peach you should have. jamie.
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on 4 January 2005
Having fallen in love with Snow Patrol on my first airing of Final Straw I had to buy the rest of the collection immediately. That was about 8 months ago and I haven't really listened to much else since! Album faves would be Mahogany, Velocity Girl and Fifteen Minutes Old, I like the mellow tracks. To be honest though, there's no track I don't like.
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on 26 October 2008
This is in my opinion the best Snow Patrol album. It needs about 2 or 3 listens to grow on you, then you will appreciate the beauty of these 14 simple songs. They are often built around simple guitaring, such as the quiter but brilliant velocity girl and 15 minutes old. NYC only has 3 lines and is very repetitive but stands out as one of the best tracks. the more upbeat Downhill from here, Starfighter pilot, Little hide and 100 things you should have done in bed are also great catchy tunes. All in all this is a must buy for Snow Patrol fans.
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on 11 September 2005
From the instantly recognisable, funky intro into 'Downhill From Here' to the inspired '100 thing you should have done in bed' this album could almost be Gary Lightbody's life-story.the stunningly heart felt 'Mahogany' and the hauntingly beautiful '15 minutes old' showcase the bad sides while songs like 'starfighter pilot' show the good. i would recomend this album simply for mahogany and 15 minutes old-musical brilliance and emotional bliss
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on 1 April 2013
So this is a far cry of the Snow Patrol that provided us with the pop-rock anthem of Chasing Cars. If you liked that song then you'll probably be disappointed with Songs For Polarbears.

Released in 1998 this was their first album. Yes Final Straw was not Snow Patrol's first album.

This is certainly an alternative album and it's a lot more experimental than any others - which other album would you get the current keyboard player Tom Simpson doing record-scratching?! (on the song Absolute Gravity). It's full of energy and a lot more raw sounding, which is definitely not a bad thing. The bass parts are certainly a lot more interesting than with current bassist Paul Wilson and they double up as the rhythm section that was absent until Nathan Connolly joined the band with Final Straw. The lyrics and titles are fantastic if not in some cases weird. Where else are you going to find a Snow Patrol album with the line 'I don't want to hurt her feelings but she's a crazy f---ed up b----!' (From the equally strange titled song of Get Balsamic Vinegar...Quick You Fool) The album features some beautiful melodies, in particular NYC and Velocity Girl and the bass riff of Balsamic is one of the catchiest I've ever heard.

Interestingly this album contains three of my top ten Snow Patrol songs - Get Balsamic Vinegar... Quick You Fool (my 1st); Starfighter Pilot (my 5th) and NYC (my 10th). The weakest song for me is Mahogany but it is positioned wonderfully on the album as a relief and contrast to the energy and passion displayed in Balsamic, just as Berlin was to Fallen Empires on their latest offering.

Sadly because it is so different to what has been subsequently produced after, we will be lucky to hear any of the songs off of this album played live again, partly because no-one seems to know them and they're intended for jumping around and dancing too, which Snow Patrol crowds seem reluctant to do these days. The only song that might make a return is Starfighter Pilot, although that could be difficult because singer Gary Lightbody now hates the lyrics.

This particular release of the album has the added bonus of all of the B-Sides from the singles from this album. Whilst some aren't up to much there are some very good ones (Sticky Teenage Twin; Raze The City).
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