Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SNOW PATROL-Eyes Open (2006)


Even more love for my alternative rock music, as I take out the shovels to do some pre-winter round-up with the Irish outfit that calls itself SNOW PATROL. And yes, I am indeed dipping into the 'S' artists in my collection again by digging up this "Eyes Open" CD. I's been ages since I last tuned in to another popular smash hit that's gotten loads of airplay on the contemporary popular music stations within the past decade: "Chasing Cars". This is one of those songs that instantly captivates me because of the introductory stilled, haunting serenity of the musical arrangement and the breathy, mellow vocals of a male lead singer, yet also mystifies me at the same time because of the complexity of the lyrical layout. As many times as I've listened to it, I haven't yet made it a point to actually decipher the true meaning of what's being sung here; I could attribute that to the instrumental music lover in me often favoring the sound of a song before any of the other musical elements. A simple bit of research will reveal everything about the song that I need to know, and seeing as how I've reconnected with this band, now would be an opportune time just for that. Nevertheless, the song is a jewel and parades as my #1 favorite.....so much so, that I'm reminded of my mini-quest to obtain the proper single, plus whatever accompanying remixes of it are out there, just for the fun of it. Elsewhere here on "Eyes Open", well-received also by my open mind and ears are every one of the tunes that take a slowed-down, yet charming approach. That select group is led by "You Could Be Happy; it's the twinkly bedtime chimes first featured in introductory movement that lures me in here). Then it's a rather haunting one that grows on me: "Make This Go On Forever". The unified vocals singing along with SNOW PATROL's frontman in the chorus sound eerie against the smooth groove, but it's a good kind of eerie that plays with the audio senses. Besides that, it takes a minute for the lyrics and the meaning to take hold, but the words of 'please just save me from this darkness', delivered calmly and clearly against the acoustic piano at the end, sums up the overall theme. "Set The Fire To The Third Bar" sets the haunting chills in motion further. This time, it's SNOW PATROL's frontman and an unknown guest female vocalist singing together, their tender and hushed vocals as one in mellow unified harmony. Then lyrics mystify me here as well, but I sure am dazzled by the hazy, trippy feel of the unsettling music, the abrupt end kinda leaving the senses hanging and drifting and aching to hear more of the story. First there is "Shut Your Eyes", and then there's "Open Your Eyes" , the album's tenth track. It too has a way of growing on me, especially when the frontman's soaring vocals repeatedly deliver the line ' tell me you'll open your eyes ' in the main chorus before the heavy rock slams down and takes over the rest of the way. Despite "Chasing Cars" being the popular favorite, perhaps the one that truly satisfies me the most is "The Finish Line". Of course, me being attracted to New Age music and the like meant that I'd naturally be drawn to this charming slow number, whose airy, lofty ambiance is very soothing on the ears. But I can really interpret the lyrics on this one well, particularly his metaphor of the finish line being like how everything else in time just stands still. A good one to add to my 'Ambient/Instrumental Mix' playlist, and if you have such a playlist, one for you to add to that as well:

1. You're All I Have
2. Hands Open
3. Chasing Cars
4. Shut Your Eyes
5. It's Beginning To Get To Me
6. You Could Be Happy
7. Make This Go On Forever
8. Set The Fire To The Third Bar
9. Headlights On Dark Roads
10. Open Your Eyes
11. The Finish Line
12. Untitled [Bonus]
13. In My Arms [Bonus]
14. Warmer Climate [Bonus]

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