Release Date: Nov 10, 2009
Record label: Geffen
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody doesn’t think much of greatest hits collections: “We couldn’t have a greatest hits at this point, because we only have a couple of (hits), and I hate those records anyway.” Protestations aside, Snow Patrol are a rather popular band at this point, and career-retrospective compilations are an unavoidable part of the major-label rock infrastructure that they’ve chosen to be a part of. For all of Lightbody’s artful self-deprecation and rock star faux-humility, this is a band that has mostly been embraced by the masses and has record-company clout behind them (for whatever that’s worth anymore). They’ve made their choice, and there are rules to this sport.
One of the biggest reasons bands like The Strokes took off so quickly was that back in 2001 they were seen as a sort of Superhero of Cool, sweeping the country away from the boring Villain of MOR, typified by the likes of Travis, Turin Breaks and Coldplay. As the decade has progressed, however, the acoustic wet blanket sounds of Middle England have risen again to the point we routinely have to tolerate The Script and Scouting For Girls on radio, TV and magazines. For many Snow Patrol represent all that is horrible about this music with their emotive anthems and stadium shows full of £50 Tesco man and his “I like a bit of everything” girlfriend.
Here's a depressing exercise: Sit down and try to figure out how many of the bigger alt-rock bands that emerged this past decade will one day crank out a half-decent greatest-hits album. It's a short list. The White Stripes will release a great one. So will Coldplay, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Killers.