Thursday, February 26, 2009

Poll: The Killers or Snow Patrol

Your choices are a) The Killers b) Snow Patrol c) I don't care for either d) Coldplay rules! e) U2 called and wants their sound back.

I am going with Snow Patrol. Although the Killers have incredibly explosive and entertaining singles, Snow Patrol gives me a better depth of quality music. I know when I queue up a Snow Patrol album I will enjoy the entire experience. When I hear the first chords of pretty much any song it takes me someplace new. I can't explain it, except that it is an exceptional experience that few bands offer me.

But those are my thoughts. Let me know what you think of the Killers and Snow Patrol, or if you think we will even think of them 20 years from now.

Friday, February 20, 2009

"All these places feel like home."

Snow Patrol

Sounds like: If Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz got a kickin' band and became Scottish, they might sound like this.

Why I like them: Snow Patrol has great lyrics, great music and great melodies. The lyrics are like poetry using great vocabulary and imagery to really paint a picture. But unlike Johnson or Mraz, the lyrics do more than sit on top of the music. The band is a driving force, making each song bigger and better than the lyrics alone.

Dislikes: Because of the emphasis on lyrics and music it sometimes takes 3 minutes to get to a chorus. (most radio songs are 3 minutes long total). Also, because Snow Patrol has a distinctive sound the songs each sound similar.

Final Straw (2004)
4.5 out of 5

This album establishes the Snow Patrol sound right away. The first 5 songs have that mix of drive and lyrics that I love. However, "Chocolate" is the best song for sure. The line "All these places feel like home" is how I feel about this album. Anytime I put it on I know it will make me happy.

Favorite songs: Chocolate, Run, How To Be Dead.

Eyes Open (2006)
5 out of 5

This is a complete album, this is Snow Patrol at their very best. The album is a story of a relationship that starts great, falls apart and looks to be reconciled. The lyrics are more poetic, the music is bolder and the result is remarkable. One of those albums I listen to every time I have a long drive because it makes the time go by faster. And probably one of my 5 favorite albums all-time.

Favorite songs: Hands open, You're All I Have, Open Your Eyes.

A Hundred Million Suns (2008)

3 out of 5

I think the best way to describe this album is solid, but not spectacular. There are a couple of outstanding songs, but otherwise the songs are just each good in there own way. Which makes for a good album, but maybe not one you rave about to your friends. I think this album showcases Snow Patrol's musical abilities more than other albums. The lyrics are....well they exist, but I can't tell you what the songs are about. It happens a lot to me actually.

Favorite Songs: Crack the Shutters, If There is a Rocket Tie Me To It, Take Back the City.

Top 5 Songs by Snow Patrol
Hands Open
Open Your Eyes
Crack the Shutters

Monday, February 9, 2009

Are we human, or are we 80's?

I've been listening to the most recent albums by both the Killers and Snow Patrol, and have decided these are by far my favorite bands to come out of the 2000's. (I never caught fire with Coldplay. I like them, just don't buy their stuff.) So I've decided to review their careers up to this point, both as a whole and album by album. Starting with the Killers.

The Killers

Comparison: If U2 added a synthesizer and became American, they might sound like this.
Why I like them: The first thing that stood out about the Killers was the diversity they get out of just the 4(or 5 counting the synth) instruments they have. Much like U2 all parts (guitar bass drums and vocals) play something rather interesting, yet it all comes together beautifully. But in the end, I love this band for the vocals of Brandon Flowers. Although he doesn't have the best voice, the way he just puts his voice out there song in and song out captivates me. Explosive is probably the best word.
Dislikes: While their best songs are amazing and powerful, there are always a few "throw away" tracks on each album. Songs that just don't measure up the rest. I usually skip these tracks which is a huge let down for me as I usually listen to albums straight through.

Hot Fuss (2004)
Rating: 4 out of 5

To be honest, the first time I heard "Somebody Told Me" I really thought they would be a one hit wonder. The whole "I may have dated a man....who you are now dating" seemed too much like a novelty song than actual talent. Then I heard "Mr. Brightside" on the radio. Whoa buddy. Now there is a hit. I think this album does a fantastic job of mixing a little bit of synth with a whole lot of rock. Not alot of depth, I lose interest towards the end of the album.
Favorite tracks: Mr. Brightside, All these things that I have done, Smile Like You Mean It.

Sam's Town (2006)
5 out of 5

This is a complete album. It has killer hits and continuity throughout. The fact that it has an Enterlude that says "We hope you enjoy your stay" makes me say "Yeah, I can sit down and enjoy this one. There are still a couple of tracks that don't measure up, but in the end each song has powerful music and Flowers driving the vocals home track after track.
Favorite Tracks: When You Were Young, For Reasons Unknown, Sam's Town, Read My Mind, Bones

Sawdust (2007)
2.5 out of 5

This is actually the first Killers CD I owned (Christmas Present in 2007). It was over a year later when I learned this was actually a CD of B-sides, covers and previously unreleased tracks. That explains alot, because this album lacks continuity like a mofo. However, there are several amazing tracks in this mix of 17 songs. Flowers sings the daylights out of several of these songs, making decent tracks great ones. In the end, I'm glad they released it.
Favorite tracks: Glamorous Indie Rock n Roll, Tranquilize, Romeo and Juliet, Sam's Town(Abbey Road Version).

Day and Age (2008)
3.5 out of 5

This is the studio follow up to "Sam's Town." After listening to it several times it begs the question "Are we human, or are we 80's?" The synthesizer has taken over! "Losing Touch" sounds like Robert Palmer to start. "This Is Your Life" reeks of Talking Heads. Call this album the anti-grunge of Rock. But in the end, The Killers still rely on their strengths to create a quality album. Call this their "experimental album." A great sound as a band backed by great vocals. Just lacks the energy of the previous albums leading to more mellow singles like "Human". A track that gets stuck in my head CONSTANTLY!
Favorite Tracks: Human, Spaceman, This is Your Life, The World We Live In.

Top 5 Tracks by The Killers

1. When You Were Young
2. Mr. Brightside
3. Reasons Unknown
4. Human
5. The Things That I Have Done