The 25-year-old Irish rock band, Snow Patrol, dropped their seventh studio album titled Wildness on May 25, after a prolonged absence in the music scene over the recent years. The band, consisting of the lead vocalist, Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly on the guitar, Paul Wilson on the bass, Johnny Quinn on the drums, and Johnny McDaid alternating between the piano and guitar, released their last studio album, Fallen Empires, in November of 2011. It is safe to say that fans have had a relatively long wait since.
The new album opens with ‘Life On Earth’, a song that begins slowly and builds up as it proceeds to end in a triumphant resolution with a repetitive “This is life on earth”. The fantastic start of the album stays true to the band’s sing-along characteristic. It then progresses into a pep talk, “Don’t you dare quit so easy, give all that you got on the soul”, with Gary Lightbody crooning in a raspy voice. After a typically Snow Patrol love song, filled with hard-hitting analogies in ‘Heal Me’, Lightbody goes into a narrative of the fight for equality, which seems to be “on the streets” across the world.
‘Dark Switch’ gives us a glimpse of a love story with dark and angsty undertones. However, Lightbody then quells our spirits with ‘What If This Is All the Love You Ever Get?’ and its accepting, anticipating vibe. He then slips into a reminiscent mood with ‘A Youth Written in Fire’ where he talks about “The first time we got high”, and honestly, who can’t relate to that? ‘Soon’ gives us a deep understanding of the ups and downs of Lightbody’s father’s Alzheimer’s through his eyes, which is quite stirring, especially if you’re watching the music video. In ‘Wild Horses’, he dishes out advice to a fickle someone, “Try to keep your heart on higher shelves for once” and ends the album with a classic Snow Patrol-styled repetitive “I don’t want to lay this far from you” in ‘Life And Death’.
The album also features alternative versions of ‘Life On Earth’, ‘Don’t Give In’, ‘Heal Me’, ‘What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?’, and ‘Soon’. Wildness proved to be a strong comeback for Snow Patrol after their hiatus and leaves us just as awed as we were when ‘Chasing Cars’ took the world by storm. – Tanya Francis