After seven years of unofficial hiatus, Snow Patrol is back with another album, Wildness. Seven years is quite a long time to be away and a comeback after that raises the expectations. This time it’s a bit personal, Gary Lightbody the lead singer and the primary songwriter explores life, confronts his past addictions and struggles, expresses vividly about his dad and aims for something higher than the traditional.
The album starts with ‘Life on Earth’ a brilliant song with a slight indie touch exploring both personal and the universal. ‘This is not love you had before, this is something else’ shouts Lightbody over and over again implying the shift this album is about to make from the previous ones. Indeed, it’s an absolute joy to listen to this song with all the drums kicking in before the chorus and being driven by the casual strumming.
The main feature of this song is the underlying simplicity on to which all the things are added with a great sense and taste. It’s not perfect the lyrics could have been better, a layer of depth would have been good but its ability to connect with the listener to make him an observer looking at the world can’t be questioned, it excels there and often times the overall lyrics give an all-encompassing universal outlook and along with that the indie touch makes this a must listen to song.
With a catchy title ‘Don’t Give In’ comes as a traditional pop/rock song with some inspirational lyrics but the song fails to deliver that punch or intimacy and ends up being mediocre which doesn’t require an emotional connection. The song ‘Heal Me‘ too is plagued by the same shortcoming of the previous song but again the lyrics here is good and the tune is appealing but doesn’t instill that urge to listen to it over and over again. Though a bit similar ‘Empress’ tries to improve a bit, again with hopeful lyrics which makes the listener smile and wonder what Lightbody was doing during these seven years to come out with so much inspiration in mind.
‘Dark Switch‘ again pushes the monotony forward, nothing great to impress, an average song, the fun kind with okay lyrics again implying about some random change which hasn’t shown up till now. The effects and the synths at some points breathes a new freshness into the song but other than that it just remains like the rest.
As the first five songs finish and when one feels that the album isn’t that great after all except for the opener there comes ‘What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?‘ a ballad, silent with a piano and just Lightbody’s voice, incredibly restrained far away from all the guitars and drums. A slow take, emotional, soothing and this one connects deeply and comforting. The feeling of sitting calmly with your thoughts and finding peace with them all, a time for yourself is what this song is. Great lyrics, well-constructed and delivered with all the emotions this song is one of the best in this entire album.
What if this is all the love you ever get?
You’d not worry so much about counting your regrets
What if this is all the love I’m ever shown
I’d not be so scared to run into the unknown
‘A Youth Written In Fire’ a well-written song with raw lyrics about past times, exploring the young blood with drum beats rolling, singing about emotional withdrawal from things addictive and moments of love as it juggles between what was and what is. A good song for those who wish to take a trip down memory lane. Starting with the sweet sound of the acoustic strumming begins ‘Soon’.
A song very personal and touching about Lightbody’s father and his dementia. It’s beautiful, melancholic and a tribute to a man whom he holds very close to his heart. The lyrics are so full of emotions and the delivery is just good that it pierces through the listener’s heart. It’s a beautiful ode to a father from a son that shouldn’t be missed. ‘Wild Horses’ and ‘Life and Death’ are two easy listening songs again failing to make any sort of hard impact, the lyrics are not packed with content but enough to entertain on the periphery and nothing deep.
Wildness is a good album, but not the best, while being good it can’t be seen as a masterpiece produced after a seven-year hiatus. There are three songs which are exceptional and brilliant and it’s the backbone of this album that makes it good. The others songs are not at all bad but average the typical ones easy and casual. Wildness is not a phenomenal rebirth but a modest comeback.
Life on Earth
What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?