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Final Straw Import

204 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 30, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The warm melancholy of Gary Lightbody's voice makes for a versatile instrument on Snow Patrol's Final Straw, artfully balancing bright, anthemic rock with disparate reference points like Belle and Sebastian and My Bloody Valentine. Aching with loves both lost and leaving, it's a voice that producer Garrett Lee uses as a jumping-off point, dropping fat guitars, electronic noise, and eclectic instrumentation in with Lightbody's breathy, moody depth. The band plays around with wild shifts of texture: "Gleaming Auction" veers in seconds from a relaxed shuffle to a shoegazing crunch, while a blanket of fuzzbox swagger calls forth the ghost of T. Rex on "Tiny Little Fractures." But just when you're ready to throw the record on random shuffle with Electric Warrior or maybe Heaven Tonight, the band lays down a pastoral ballad like "Same." Somehow it holds together beautifully, stuffed with songs that reward repeat listens and ear candy that keeps you full for days. --Matthew Cooke

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. How To Be Dead
  2. Wow
  3. Glaming Auction
  4. Whatever's Left
  5. Spitting Games
  6. Chocolate
  7. Run
  8. Grazed Knees
  9. Ways & Means
  10. Tiny Little Fractures
  11. Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking
  12. Same
  13. Bonus Track 1
  14. Bonus Track 2

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 30, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: A&M / Polydor / Fiction Records
  • ASIN: B0001MZ7ZK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,414 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

182 of 197 people found the following review helpful By Busy Body on June 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The year 2004 has seen a rapid increase of great bands in Britain. At the start of the year Franz Ferdinand released their self-titled debut album which has brought a distinct freshness back to the UK charts. Along with male-fronted bands such as Keane, Maroon 5 and the Scissor Sisters, who have both enjoyed great success with their debut albums, I have to say that so far this year I am impressed with the majority of music. And then there's Snow Patrol...

For me Snow Patrol are the greatest 'new' talents of 2004 and also proudly boast the greatest album of the year so far. With their third and latest album "Final Straw," this great band have exploded big time onto the scene. With two virtually unheard albums behind them, these boys zoomed in on their talents and emerged with one of the most promising albums in recent years. I initially ignored this band, thinking them of nothing more than another Coldplay rip-off (their music more than resembles that of Chris Martin's band) but since I bought this album I've seen them in a completely new light.

The UK's best radio station, Radio 1, have hyped this album more than anyone else and their mass appeal has paid off, resulting in a multi-platinum smash hit. Lead singer Gary Lightbody's voice on "How To Be Dead," the album's opener, sets the tone for the rest of the album. The morbid title is metaphorically speaking of a relationship that's dead in the water. The lyrical composition is catchy and the beat gradually builds towards the second minute. This is swiftly followed by the masterful "Wow." There's not a greater title for this song, because it simply makes you go Wow! The intro is ambiguous and rather distant before the drums kick in and the Placebo-like vocals take over.
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful By A. Taylor VINE VOICE on April 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Very few albums lately move me both with the music and the lyrics, and this is one of the very best at both. Though this band is very good on their own and have their own distinct sound, I have to say that they remind me of a more indie sounding Coldplay, or a more accessible and less contrived version of Radiohead. It actually took me about three hours to listen to the whle CD because I kept repeating songs that I instantly wanted to hear again. The lyrics are emotionally charged and are genuine... not at all contrived or high school poetic. This is a fantastic album that should not be missed. I bought the import edition with two bonus tracks, which are definitely worth checking out. Don't let this CD pass you's an instant classic.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kaitlin on February 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Snow Patrol's latest album, Final Straw, is the best album I've heard in a long time. Their work on The Reindeer Section's "Your Sweet Voice" has the same soothing, catchy qualities as their work on this album. Standouts on the album are "How to be Dead," "Spitting Games," and "Chocolate." The haunting chouruses are hard to get out of your head, but they are not annoying and you never get sick of them, so you don't mind when they're stuck in your head. The CD has wide appeal- I believe you'll like it whatever your age and whatever kind of music you like. If you like the Scottish/Indie/Alt/Rock bands like Idlewild and The Reindeer Section, you'll love Snow Patrol's Final Straw. If I could buy any Snow Patrol CD, I'd buy Final Straw. Importing the CD is cheap- it costs around $16, and it only takes about 12 days to be shipped to the US, and it is definitely worth the wait. When I went to [...] to hear sneak- previews of the album, I was definitely sold.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Scot McGinn on January 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
In todays era of soul-less corporate rock and cash-safe "attack of the clones", I've begun to look over the pond for my music needs. Bands such as Muse, Kent, Doves, and Idlewild (just to name a few) get regular spin time in my ear buds.
A while back I got into the Reindeer Section, a side project of Gary Lightbody (creative force behind Snow Patrol) which incorporated a lot of euro talent on multiple tracks. The albums were a chance for Lightbody to experiment with some *safe* and *marketable* sounds, while retaining some integrity in the indie market by not carbon copying each track or sticking to a particular formula too closely (or marketing it to death). The Reindeer project, to me, was a simple attempt to get some people together and create some good music and, in my opinion, they succeeded nicely.
Fast forward to today. Lightbody took all that he learned with Reindeer Section, what he thought worked, what he thought could be improved, and created Final Staw, the new Snow Patrol album. What he and his band created is a more "radio friendly" version of Snow Patrol, which will no doubt upset the long-term fans, however...and it needs to be said.....WOW! Radio-friendly never sounded so good.
There are no "skip me's" on this cd. All tracks are solid. As others pointed out, some (like "Run") stand out as singles, but the other songs that are more radio-edgy stand out like polished gems. I think this band has grown a lot since Polar Bears and am glad I've been along for the ride.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
After several solid albums in the UK, Snow Patrol gets some US attention with their breakout album, "Final Straw." Their melancholy rock'n'roll has a sort of chilly, late-autumn sound and a lot of songs about falling-out with lovers, but avoids being the cliched, whiny album about The End of the Band Leader's Relationship.

"Run" serves as the most polished, radio-oriented song -- smooth and vaguely Coldplayish -- but songs like "Run" and "Spitting Games" take a different tack: More rough indie-rock with some wicked basslines and a solid rhythm. The most musically rich song is "Ways and Means," a magnificent, slow-grinding song that includes violins, synths and cymbals.

As this is a dual disc album, one side of it is a DVD, containing music videos for three of the songs ("Chocolate," "Spitting Games" and "Run"), two versions of surround sound and stereo, a photo gallery, an interview, a bio of the band, and more. For fans of Snow Patrol it's probably well worth it.

Snow Patrol don't really forge any new paths into the world of rock music. Most of their songs are rooted in gritty indie-rock bands, as well as some classics like Pink Floyd. But they do have a solid, engaging style, in the form of a "message": Gary Lightbody seems to be asking his lovers to please, please, PLEASE understand him.

The songs almost border on dance music sometimes -- some strings, barely-restrained chugging guitars, solid basslines and the occasional lovely roll of electronic sound serve to contrast the melancholy tone. It seems a little weird to have such musically upbeat instrumentation while singing about being drenched in the rain. But it saves "Final Straw" from being yet another mopey pop album about The End of the Relationship.
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