Fallen Empires (album)

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Fallen Empires
Studio album by Snow Patrol
Released 11 November 2011 (Worldwide except North America)
10 January 2012 (North America)
Genre Alternative rock, indietronica
Length 57:17
Label Fiction/Interscope (worldwide)
Island (North America)
Producer Jacknife Lee
Snow Patrol chronology
Up to Now
(2009)
Fallen Empires
(2011)
Greatest Hits
(2013)
Singles from Fallen Empires
  1. "Called Out in the Dark"
    Released: 2 September 2011
  2. "This Isn't Everything You Are"
    Released: 14 October 2011
  3. "New York"
    Released: 20 December 2011
  4. "In the End"
    Released: 13 February 2012
  5. "Lifening"
    Released: 5 July 2012

Fallen Empires is the sixth studio album by Snow Patrol. The album was released on 11 November 2011[1] (10 January 2012 in North America). The album became the first to feature guitarist Johnny McDaid, who joined during the recording and last to feature keyboardist Tom Simpson, who would later depart the band in 2013. It is also the only album by the band as a six-piece.

Background and development[edit]

When asked about the writing process for the album, Gary Lightbody commented by saying "It's the longest album we've ever made by far but also the best. We took our time and I also had some bouts of writer's block. It's the first time it's happened for such a long time. I've had days when I haven't been able to write. Since 2009, I've gone through three writer's blocks but I'm glad because the results are great afterwards. They probably made me write better songs."[2] Snow Patrol planned a "Fallen Empires tour" in 2012 with the first date being at the O2 in Dublin.[3] The song "New York" can be heard at the end of "Suddenly" (Season 8 Episode 10) of Grey's Anatomy.[4][5][6] The song is also played in "After School Special" (Season 4 Episode 10) of The Vampire Diaries.[7][8]

Singles[edit]

  • "Called Out in the Dark" was released as the first single from the album on 2 September 2011 in the UK as an EP.[9] A video was released for the song before its release date on 17 August 2011.[10]
  • "New York" was the third single from the album released in America on 20 December 2011.[12]
  • "In the End" was released as a single on 13 February.
  • "Lifening" is the fifth single and was released on 5 July.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 58/100[13]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[14]
Daily Express 3/5 stars[15]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[16]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[17]
The Independent 3/5 stars[18]
Los Angeles Times 1.5/4 stars[19]
Pitchfork Media (4.8/10)[20]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[21]
Spin (5/10)[22]
Toronto Star 2.5/4 stars[23]

Fallen Empires received mixed reviews from critics.[13] According to the website Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average review score of 58/100, based on 25 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".[13]

James Christopher Monger wrote a favorable review for Allmusic, stating that the album "establishes an expansive vista of sound early on, bathing fairly simple melodies in waves of fastidious loops and sparse percussion."[14] Mike Haydock wrote a positive review for BBC Music, analysing that "Best of all are the moments when Snow Patrol blend the two approaches together, combining their own aesthetic with an Achtung Baby adoration."[24] Entertainment Weekly's Melissa Maerz wrote that "For all the sentiment, it's the simplest stuff that rings true."[16] The New York Times's Nate Chinen praised the songwriting, saying that "What makes this all feel reasonably unforced is the abiding earnestness in the songwriting."[25] The A.V. Club wrote that the album "it's comforting at worst and occasionally fantastic."[26]

Dave Simpson wrote an average review, saying that "Although the variation in styles doesn't make for the most cohesive album, the default mood is still downbeat but anthemic--songs for couples to cling tightly to one another while raising mobiles in the air."[17] While Now Magazine found out that "In the first few songs they stretch themselves creatively and come up with promising results, but halfway through it's back to overwrought ballads and middle-of-the-road mid-tempo rock songs."[27] A mixed review came from Rolling Stone's Stacey Anderson, who wrote that "Snow Patrol fall back to the blandly inoffensive safe zone--though at least they sound a little brighter."[21] Pitchfork Media thought that "the results are goofy."[20] The Daily Telegraph criticized the album for "stick[ing] too rigidly to the formula."[13]

Commercial performance[edit]

In 2011, Fallen Empires sold 269,000 copies in the UK.[28] The album debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 31,000 copies. It became the band's highest debut on the Billboard chart and the second album to reach the top-ten.[29]

Track listing[edit]

The track list for Fallen Empires is as follows.[30]

All lyrics written by Gary Lightbody, all music composed by Snow Patrol, except "New York" by Lightbody and Johnny McDaid.

No. Title Length
1. "I'll Never Let Go"   4:44
2. "Called Out in the Dark"   4:01
3. "The Weight of Love"   4:16
4. "This Isn't Everything You Are"   4:58
5. "The Garden Rules"   4:29
6. "Fallen Empires"   5:20
7. "Berlin"   2:05
8. "Lifening"   3:53
9. "New York"   4:01
10. "In the End"   4:00
11. "Those Distant Bells"   3:17
12. "The Symphony"   6:07
13. "The President"   4:35
14. "Broken Bottles Form a Star (Prelude)"   1:30

There was also a special digipak version of the album showing highlights of the band playing live at the Royal Albert Hall on the 25th of November 2009 on their 'Reworked' tour. The track listing is as follows:

First half highlights:

No. Title Length
1. "Finish Line"    
2. "An Olive Grove Facing the Sea"    
3. "Give Me Strength"    
4. "You Could Be Happy"    
5. "Take Back the City"    

Second half highlights:

No. Title Length
1. "Dark Roman Wine"    
2. "Spitting Games"    
3. "Run"    
4. "Lifeboats"    
5. "The Planets Bend Between Us"    
6. "Chasing Cars"    

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "iTunes - Music - Fallen Empires by Snow Patrol". Itunes.apple.com. 2011-11-11. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  2. ^ "Snow Patrol: 'We've already written our next album'". NME. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Snow Patrol announce opening dates of Fallen Empires tour". metro.co.uk. 17 September 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  4. ^ See occurrences on Google Search.
  5. ^ "Grey's Anatomy - Snow Patrol 'New York' S08E10". YouTube. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Grey's Anatomy 8x10 'Suddenly' Final Scene". YouTube. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  7. ^ See occurrences on Google Search.
  8. ^ "Vampire Diaries 4x10 'After School Special'". YouTube. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Called Out In the Dark - EP". iTunes. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Snow Patrol - 'Called Out In The Dark'". YouTube. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "FIRST PLAY OF 'THIS ISN'T EVERYTHING YOU ARE' TONIGHT". Snow Patrol. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "New York - Single". iTunes. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Fallen Empires Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  14. ^ a b James Christopher Monger. "Fallen Empires - Snow Patrol - Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Simon Gage (11 November 2011). "Snow Patrol, 'Fallen Empires'; Daily Express". Daily Express. 
  16. ^ a b Melissa Maerz (10 November 2011). "Fallen Empires review - Snow Patrol Review - Music Reviews and News - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly. 
  17. ^ a b Dave Simpson (10 November 2011). "Snow Patrol, 'Fallen Empires'; The Guardian". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  18. ^ Andy Gill (11 November 2011). "Snow Patrol, 'Fallen Empires'; The Independent". The Independent. 
  19. ^ Wood, Mikael (9 January 2012). "Album Review: Snow Patrol's 'Fallen Empires'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  20. ^ a b Ashurst, Hari (19 January 2012). "Snow Patrol: Fallen Empires". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  21. ^ a b Stacey Anderson (10 November 2011). "Fallen Empires - Album Reviews - Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. 
  22. ^ Young, Jon. "Snow Patrol: 'Fallen Empires'". Spin. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  23. ^ Rayner, Ben (10 January 2012). "Albums: Sissy is coldly thrilling, and more". Toronto Star. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  24. ^ Mike Haydock (10 November 2011). "BBC - Music - Review of Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires". BBC. 
  25. ^ Nate Chinen (10 November 2011). "New Albums by 3ballMTY and Snow Patrol - Review - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. 
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  29. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (18 January 2012). "Adele Matches 'Titanic's' No. 1 Run Atop Billboard 200". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
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  45. ^ "VG-Lista - Snow Patrol - Fallen Empires (album)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
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