“When it’s all over we still have to clear up,” a fitting sentiment for an album based around themes of Love, loss, betrayal and the messy aftermath’s of one night stands (as documented in their “Boss tunage”-Evening Session approved-recent single “One night is not enough,” with it’s hook line of “It’s not me that you love,” something which you feel would be fairly obvious to someone who has woken up next to someone who probably can’t remember their name.)
This is Scottish/Northern Irish hybrid Snow Patrol’s second album, after their 1997 debut, the florescently-poppy “Songs for Polar Bears.” Whilst that contained songs liable to stick in your head, jump up and down to in the secrecy of your bedroom and sing on the bus; When it’s all over… contains songs which stick in your head, but tend only to make an appearance when you’re ruminating over the memories of failed love affairs. That said, it’s not too drastic a change. You detect if anything this is a band just attempting to find a footing for themselves and strengthen their sound away from the influence of label mates such as Belle and Sebastian and Salako. The ties are not completely broken just yet though. Lead singer Gary’s voice on tracks such as “Batten down the hatch,” is at times reminiscent of Stuart Murdoch after a heavy night out and too many Tennents, with a soft Northern Irish lull which just makes you want to drag him home to meet your mum.
But then again, as your mum always said, too much sugar is bad for you. Whilst “When it’s all over…” doesn’t suffer from too many spoonfuls, it’s more of an overdose of Canderel. It’s alright occasionally, seen in absolutely gorgeous tracks such as On Off, with it’s apologetic “Nobody’s perfect, that’s what I say,” but after track 11, it starts to grow cloying and slightly annoying, leaving a chemical aftertaste in your mouth. Songs such as “Last ever lone gunman,” about shooting a love rival down in his tracks and the opening track “Never gonna fall in love again,” are impressive in their own way, yet, whilst gorgeously quirky and fun, they are not really doing anything all that new in a musical environment which is screaming out for innovation away from turgid Travis-throwback-guitar bands and stale rock pastiches. Snow Patrol are definitely not suffering from “difficult second album” syndrome, yet, until they stop making Indie disco music and work upon their more innovative elements, people are merely going to like them whilst they bounce up and down on their student union floor and not going to give them the love and obsessive tendencies that they surely deserve.
6Cay McDermott's Score