Snow Patrol, Wildness - album review
"There are many types of wildness, but I think it can be distilled into two: the wildness of the modern age, all it’s confusion, illogic and alienation and a more ancient wildness," says Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody.
"Something primal, alive and beautiful that speaks to our true connectivity, our passion, our love, our communion with nature and each other. This is the kind of wildness the album is centered around. The loss of it. Trying to reconnect with it. To remember it.”
Snow Patrol are back - their first record in seven years. And there is something a little different here.
Largely gone are the pop-rock ballads designed to bleed the hearts of romantics and young chart music purchasers. We've left the realms of Chasing Cars and Run.
There are even some naughty words.
Yes, there is something a little more 'adult' about Wildness. It feels more like a life lived, the bad and the good, the great times and the heartbroken ones. There's a bit more 'argh' to it. A bit more of that guttural, passionate energy Gary is discussing above.
It's not life-affirming, don't get us wrong. It won't open up your mind's eye and make you scream, 'alas, this is music!' But there is something calming and relieving knowing that somebody else has tasted the same pains in life as you even with a successful music career supporting them (financially at least).
Opener Life On Earth encompasses all of this. Ironically one of the softer moments on the LP it's almost masking its pain and anguish and surprises you with thumping percussion in the choruses to wake listeners from their quaint slumber.
A Youth Written In Fire is powered by a deep and dark electro bassline, a kind of warning shot to the eardrums. It's very New Order meets Ou Est le Swimming Pool.
Wild Horses is more of an uplifting moment. It's got some great 90s rock vibes tied up in the stomping rhythm. It's great fun actually, coupling rising and falling vocals with similar beats to send the toes twitching, followed by the rest of the feet.
It's a nice return to celebrate two decades in the game.
Snow Patrol will play Arena Birmingham on January 25, 2019