Do you remember Snow Patrol? No, I mean the real Snow Patrol. Not the ballad-based Keane-alikes that their record company has marketed them as, but the band underneath that were once wowing us with the fuzz of songs like 'Starfighter Pilot' or silencing us with the beauty of 'An Olive Grove Facing The Sea'. They wouldn't touch the middle ground if you paid them, remember?
You'd better cling on to that memory then, because Snow Patrol have pitched their tents in the middle of the road and they're damned if they're moving. 'You're All I Have' follows on fluently from material from their breakthrough pop effort Final Straw, but unfortunately draws from the Terrible Filler category (see also: 'How To Be Dead') rather than the ones that were any good. Initially it doesn't sound much different to 'Spitting Games' until you hit the chorus, where the theatrical 'ooo'-ing of the backing vocals sound like broody women cooing at newborns. The guitar fuzz has been taken out of the equation quicker than that time they kicked out founding member Mark McClelland, leaving behind reams of vaguely sharp yet clean guitar where normally there would be something harsher.
When Gary Lightbody hits the bridge and pleas "give me a chance to hold on" it all becomes clear: Snow Patrol are the new Del Amitri. 'You're All I Have' is unchallenging and linear, and whilst it grows on you eventually, it's hard to derive a sense of satisfaction from listening to it. It sounds like Snow Patrol are going through the motions, trying to find their way again after the line-up change and life under the spotlight, and it's a bit of a kick in the teeth to the hardcore fanbase that stuck with them through thick and thin to see their elected heroes now adopt all the imagination of a one pence piece.
4ben marwood's Score