In todays era of soul-less corporate rock and cash-safe "attack of the clones", I've begun to look over the pond for my music needs. Bands such as Muse, Kent, Doves, and Idlewild (just to name a few) get regular spin time in my ear buds.
A while back I got into the Reindeer Section, a side project of Gary Lightbody (creative force behind Snow Patrol) which incorporated a lot of euro talent on multiple tracks. The albums were a chance for Lightbody to experiment with some *safe* and *marketable* sounds, while retaining some integrity in the indie market by not carbon copying each track or sticking to a particular formula too closely (or marketing it to death). The Reindeer project, to me, was a simple attempt to get some people together and create some good music and, in my opinion, they succeeded nicely.
Fast forward to today. Lightbody took all that he learned with Reindeer Section, what he thought worked, what he thought could be improved, and created Final Staw, the new Snow Patrol album. What he and his band created is a more "radio friendly" version of Snow Patrol, which will no doubt upset the long-term fans, however...and it needs to be said.....WOW! Radio-friendly never sounded so good.
There are no "skip me's" on this cd. All tracks are solid. As others pointed out, some (like "Run") stand out as singles, but the other songs that are more radio-edgy stand out like polished gems. I think this band has grown a lot since Polar Bears and am glad I've been along for the ride.