November 12, 2011 12:11 am

Snow Patrol: Fallen Empires

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The Northern Irish band’s sixth album

Just as poor Bono frets about U2 losing their touch – they’re “now very close to irrelevance,” the worried windbag declared recently – up pop Northern Irish neighbours Snow Patrol with a sixth album that, initially at least, casts them as a younger, fitter U2.

“I’ll Never Let Go” is a taut opener that builds tension expertly, before opening up into buoyant stadium-rock with “Called Out in the Dark” and “The Weight of Love”, the latter cheekily recalling Bono and company’s “Even Better Than the Real Thing”. But then the album stops wanting to be Achtung Baby and declines into a series of one-paced numbers that plod by with monotonous certainty and overbearing orchestrations: not so much the new U2 as a second-hand Arcade Fire.

Snow Patrol

Fallen Empires

(Fiction)

2 stars

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