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A Hundred Million Suns
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£3.94+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 3 September 2008
Right,to start with i am a personal friend of this band and have been priviliged to hear this before anyone else! Now,the last song is 16 minutes long and encorporates three songs into one.The first single to be taken from this album is 'Take Back The City',this is a fine pop song,with a catchy chorus and a good feel about it.
Having heard snippets of each song i can tell you that this is their finest work EVER,even better than eyes open,if that is possible.
This band have been there for me,through thick and thin and helped me through the most awful of illnesses.I thank them for everything and the music that touches me.
Honestly,pre-order this now before it sells out!
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VINE VOICEon 26 October 2008
I don't really wish to dwell on the other reviews here. I've heard the album so I feel some of you might like an actual review of it....

Firstly, I'm not a massive Snow Patrol fan. I've liked the odd track in the past, An Olive Grove Facing the Sea and Off/On being notable examples, but generally speaking I've found their stuff a little too lightweight to enjoy - especially live where Lightbody really struggles voice-wise.

So when the promo of this album plonked into my lap at long last I listened with a pretty impartial ear. And I liked what I heard. Even though it's without doubt Snow Patrol by numbers....

It's clear that the band are aiming for a Coldplay-esque stadium World attack with this album. The first track "If There's A Rocket Tie Me To It" starts as the album goes on and in exactly that fashion. Tuneful plink-plink intro, followed by a heartfelt, delicate Lightbody vocal all about missing his ex-bird before opening up into a huge indie stadium-rock shaped hug. Awww bless.

"Crack The Shutters" follows the same pattern really, with SP sounding more like Chris Martin's bunch with every fretful bash on the piano during the track. Think a more tuneful, less guilty "Chocolate" from Final Straw and you'd be along the same lines. "Crack the shutters open wide/I wanna bathe you in the light of day" says Gary. Again, the stadium swoons.

"Take Back The City" is the oft FM-played lead single, so we all know what Gary's paen to Belfast sounds like by now. Tightly strummed guitars, a bit of woooo o and the story of a city that exists against all odds in many ways. It's clear the bad are proud of where they're from, at least in terms of their Irish roots anyway.

"Lifeboats" is a mellow, groovy track, based around a simple piano and guitar chord structure which opens into a funky basslined story of a relationship set against stormy skies and starry skies.

"The Golden Floor" with it's quirky handclap percussive line shares a great deal with the last track, and once again we're into Snow Patrol by numbers territory. Lightbody sings "I'm not afraid of anything/Even time" over the softly strummed guitar and light handclaps yet sings like he's possibly scared of the sound of his own voice. The track ends with a lush acoustic guitar refrain that ties things up nicely.

"Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands" features those tightly strummed guitars again, except this time their amped up and the knobs are turned up to 6! At least! This track has a massive chorus that's sure to see the live gig going throngs bopping up and down. It gives the track a feel good factor perhaps not best befitting the yet-another-failed-relationship nature of the lyrics.

"Set Down Your Glass" sounds like Snow Patrol of old. It's pastoral, it's acoustic, it's simple and it's honest. It's almost a follow up to "Olive Grove..." with it's chorus of :

"And I'm shaking then I'm still
When your eyes meet mine
I lose simple skills
Like to tell you all I want is now"

Another Coldplay-esque track follows in the shape of "The Planets Bend Between Us" a track that sounds a little mournful but actually is incredibly uplifting lyrically :

"I will race you to the waterside
And from the edge of Ireland shout out loud
So they could hear it in a America
It's all for you"

Perhaps Mr Lightbody has found happiness at last? The track has a simple piano, bass and drum backline with some of those chiming guitars that uptight white indie boys love so much these days. There's no huge climax. Just a band pouring out their hearts, or so it sounds. Expect it to punch your heart out when you least expect it through an FM station near you soon.

"Engines" thunders it's was along in a bassy, widescreen way before it blossoms into a chiming anthem for the lost. Quite beautiful really. All that techno sample from the first minute or so transforms from rainclouds musically, into a sunny day. Something the Snowies do so well I think. And a definite little niche they've carved for themselves.

"Disaster Button" sounds like every track you hated by US college boy frat bands. Best leave it there I think. The weakest point on the album I think. But another Snow Patrol big chorus, sure to please new fans.

The album closes with, as you've probably read already, somewhat of a departure for the band in the shape of a brave three song-spliced-together orchestral masterpiece entitled "The Lightening Strike". Part 1 of this piece sounds like A Frames track; menacing, crescendoing, orchestral, dark and worried....dare I even chuck in a Beatles reference here? Think the end bit to "A Day In The Life" and you won't go far wrong, especially not in the sampling work. The Beatles thing continues in the middle section, with a backwards percussive line a jarring guitar track. The song ends with an expansive, stadium friendly rock out where it all comes good in the end, replete with guitars, rolling chorus and lots of chiming and stuff.

To summarise then, a good album and one that'll surely please the old SP fans who enjoyed the bands' more commercial offerings, and will excite to the point of rapture new fans who love huge choruses, lyrics about being rubbish with girls, staring at the stars thinking how unimportant we all are and plenty of stadium friendly chiming guitars with the odd dashing of a choir and a string section thrown in. This album is full of them. And I suspect they'll soon be up there in the musical heavens on both sides of the Atlantic, with those very same stars.
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on 17 October 2008
i am not a close personal friend of the band and i have not heard the whole album. i have however heard the single and it is damn boring. just like everything else they have ever done. that is my opinion.
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on 15 October 2008
Snow Patrol are back again with "Take Back The City". A song with plenty of guitars in it just to prove that they don't just do the slow ballads. They did it last time with "You're All I Have" and then settled into a lazy pattern of releasing slow, dull radio friendly rubbish which is on the radio EVERY TIME YOU SWITCH IT ON! If I hear "Chasing Cars" one more time I'll eat my hamster. A Hundred Million Suns is a good title. We'll get to hear the songs on it a hundred million times even when we don't own the album. Snow Patrol please go away.
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on 25 September 2016
Since I'm reviewing SP albums in backwards chronological order, it's fascinating to see the thematic differences between this album and "Fallen Empires." While I said in my review of "Fallen Empires" that the overarching theme seemed to be about finding one's center in the midst of vast distances, here, in this earlier effort, the lyrical "I" is still seeking its center but is caught up in connection--one might even say identification--with others or another, while being tossed and torn apart by titanic forces. Most of the songs have an "I" and a "You," the latter being both support (e.g., in "Disaster Button") and threat (as in "Engines") to the former. Even as the songs' lyrical "I" struggles to find its footing in its relationships and define itself in relation to the other, the natural world looms large, with songs such as the incredible "Lifeboats" and the beginning of the final stunning 16-minute "The Lightning Strike" depicting a tiny individual in a heroic search for safety and connection against a backdrop of enormous and overwhelming external nature and internal emotion, which bleed together. The effect of these two songs in particular is to transform ordinary love stories into a mythic quest; I can't help but think for some reason of both "Beowulf" and some of the more esoteric "Moomin-Troll" stories whenever I hear "Lifeboats"--it strongly evokes a heroic quest against a Nordic background of sea and ice for me. In the concluding part of "The Lightning Strike" the search of the lyrical "I" is rewarded with stillness in the center of the storm and the finding of its north, finally returning to earth after the initial launch of the opening track, "If there's a Rocket Tie me to It." The effect on the listener is both draining and uplifting, as we return to earth as well. As a scholar of poetry I could say so much more about the album, as the lyrics cry out for a more in-depth formal and thematic analysis, but I will content myself with what I've said and hope it suffices for the moment. This is not a simple album, but in my opinion it may be SP's best and one of my personal favorite albums of the past decade.
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on 23 October 2008
How can there be so many 'reviews' for an album that isn't even released yet!?

Good work people, nothing like utter moronic stupidity to ruin the ratings system eh!?
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VINE VOICEon 8 October 2008
I can't judge any album on the strength of radio plays of one track, so I'll reserve judgement until after the 27th October.......
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VINE VOICEon 31 October 2008
Snow Patrol have been unfairly judged by some of the public. When Eyes Open was released, chasing cars was a phenomenal hit. But because of the song's popularity, some people had the idea Snow Patrol was missing some masculinity, and gave the idea that their soul purpose was only to impress bored housewives with soft music.

This is the furthest from the truth that you can get about Snow Patrol however, but after being seriously insulted by ignorant metal heads, Snow Patrol have decided to take a much bolder step to the future and made this album a much heavier one than Eyes Open, or Final Straw for that matter. But not too heavy, just heavy enough that no one can actually make fun of them this time round.

What makes this album great, is the amazing balance that's been pushed into it. Some people might think of this as a bad thing, but not one song stands out like Run or Chasing Cars did. Ok, maybe there are no tracks here that could rival the quality of those two songs but maybe that's the point. As all the songs in the album are good, nothing as groundbreaking as Chasing Cars or Run, you can't really have a favorite track, and you would like to play the whole album over and over again, which always feels a load better. I adore this album because every track's quality is equal to each other and doesn't feel like Eyes Open or Final Straw when you had one epic track which always overshadowed the rest of the tracks in the album.

It's also matured from previous albums, I think it's the first Snow Patrol album to show some profanity in it, and that's respected by me, definitely proves that they're trying to show how bold their new attempt at music is. One thing I also love about this album is the epic behemoth that is the lightning strike, a sixteen minute long track that seems to work. To make a song that lasts sixteen minutes without making it a chore is a difficult task, but Snow Patrol have succeeded into making it just as gripping as all the other songs in the album and have somehow managed to make every single piece of the track interesting.

If you weren't a Snow Patrol fan, you might find this refreshing, although there are a couple of soft tracks which won't appeal to those who hated Eyes Open, the astounding balance and the general fresh feeling to the album should be enough to make anyone respect the growing success of an already great band.
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on 24 October 2008
I've just had the misfortune of listening to the whole album, theres time I'll never get back. I can safely say this is the worst album I've ever heard. I'd hoped i'd be wrong about the album being bland and uninspiring after their first single release; but I wasn't. This is the poorest performance of a once great band that brought us singles such as 'Run' and 'Chocolate'.

Nothing will ever compare to Final straw, least of all not this monstrosity of badly performed music. If I could vote less than 1, I would, but since I can't, its a firm 1/5.
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on 29 October 2008
Another album of well-crafted, radio-friendly stadium rockers? Oh no, call the fashion police!

The world has turned on its head for Gary Lightbody. A few years ago no-one could care less about his new album. He was admired by the few and ignored by the rest. Now, he is adored by millions, and apparently despised by roughly as many. He has a great ear for a melody, a fine voice, and a way with a lyric. And, of course, a band that can deliver. Kind of the point of popular music, I feel.

When I busk Chasing Cars (nothing much to it) it strikes a huge chord. People stop to listen; no song in my repertoire has that effect. The man who wrote that has my greatest respect, and I'm always hungry for more. Of course, we can't expect a classic song every time out; there is no real standout, just a very consistent album - though I do love Lifeboats.

Widescreen, intimate, heartfelt. Pretty much what you'd expect - like that's a bad thing? Keep it coming.
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