Things ended naturally...
Sherief Younis
03:34 22nd May 2006
It sounds like Snow Patrol have gotten used to hanging out with U2 in behemouth stadiums because ‘Eyes Open’ comes at you with arena filling potential.  For a band that was essentially a stop gap during the Coldplay hiatus, they’ve surpassed being here purely on merit.  Remember Snow Patrol have been doing the rounds for almost a decade, but you wouldn’t would you, because ‘Final Straw’ turned them from the indie also rans to the indie rock icons they are now.
 
So the progression hasn’t been groundbreaking or speedy but what a slick, seamless, softly spoken beast they’ve become. There are still the Coldplay-isms and Gary Lightbody’s occasional Chris Martin incarnations, especially on ’The Finish Line’ but they’ve soldiered on from the mainstream success of ‘The Final Straw’ and produced a consummately beautiful follow up. 
 
Opener ‘You’re all I have’ is a simple, blissful indie rock single with driving guitar and drums offsetting Lightbody’s vocals and playful backing harmonies whilst the heavier ‘Hands Open’ serves up the album anthem with a soaring sing-a-long chorus.  After the promising if unexpectedly lively opening, ‘Eyes Open’ soon droops into a medley of soft stadium lullabies.  ‘Shut Your Eyes’ is a shimmering almost funky little number sandwiched in between the plodding ‘Chasing Cars’ and orchestral filler of ‘It’s Beginning to Get Me’ and the rolling piano led duet with Martha Wainwright on ‘Set Fire to the Third Bar’ melts into the ears.  There’s the tear jerking innocence of ‘You could be Happy’ that sees tender use of xylophones and orchestral strings and the slow burning epicness of ‘Make This Go on Forever’ which plays the choir card to perfection. 
 
‘Eyes Open’ is an album that treads a similar path to ‘Final Straw’ but this time it’s done in hiking boots and not the flip flops of it’s predecessor. The band member merry go round has undoubtedly given the band a new dynamic and whilst ‘Eyes Open’ lacks the immediacy of anthems like ‘Run’, it’s nothing short of a luxurious, epic of an album. Although the days of ‘When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clear Up’ are long gone, and Snow Patrol are beginning to get comfortable in the echelons habited by the major players, we won't hold a grudge if they embark on their own stadium tour.