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Up To Now

Mid-career retrospective captures SP’s inner conflicts

Rating: 7 / 10

Peter Murphy, 01 Dec 2009



Up To Now: the tale of a band pulled apart by the horses of self-sabotage and ambition, of indie kid introspection and stadium scale, a band with Husker Du or The Replacements tattooed on one arm and Coldplay or U2 magic-markered on the other.

Well, conflict is drama, as they say, and there’s no denying gems like ‘Chocolate’, ‘Spitting Games’ or ‘You’re All I Have’, or a procession of broken hearted ballads like ‘Run’ and ‘Chasing Cars’ (included here in both studio original and live orchestral incarnations).

Up To Now serves to remind us that our idea of Snow Patrol – dewy eyed, tousled haired blokes who spun gold by charming the hearts of heartland gals and their boyfriends with borderline AOR tunes like ‘Signal Fire’ – doesn’t always chime with the reality of a band prepared to make sprawling albums like A Hundred Million Suns, or forge scuzz-rock dispatches like ‘Starfighter Pilot’, or enchanting darklight ballads in the form of ‘Set The Fire To The Third Bar’, featuring Martha Wainwright. And yes, dammit, I hate them for it and I hate myself for it even more, but when they kick into the chorus of a tune like ‘Crack the Shutters’, I start lumping in the throat like a big jessie.

Up To Now might be angled towards the casual Christmas browser, but is also expansive enough to include oddities like a droll ‘Crazy In Love’. Sadly no version of The Cake Sale’s ‘Some Surprise’ though.

Where will they go from here? Well, Snow Patrol still haven’t written their ‘Born To Run’. Let’s be ‘avin’ it.


Rating: 7 / 10
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