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Snow Patrol : Wildness

Wildness is an album that's inherently antithetical to its name; a low-risk and low-reward effort.

Seven years separate Wildness from its predecessor, Fallen Empires. A lot has changed both internally and externally around Snow Patrol in those years, with frontman Gary Lightbody only occasionally popping his head up at a Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran show.

The latter keeps springing to mind as one listens to Wildness – perhaps a sense that Lightbody wanted to know what it felt like to have an arena singing something back to him again. As such, it's an album with all the slickness and finesse of their breakthrough Eyes Open – but, tellingly, none of its craftsmanship.

Somewhere along the way, Lightbody and co. appear to have forgotten that simply peppering songs with bright major chords and “woah-oh-oh”s does not an anthem make. There's an art to it.

Embarrassingly, the album sounds less like Snow Patrol at some points and more like Imagine Dragons – see ‘A Dark Switch’ or ‘Heal Me’. The sole highlight, ‘Life on Earth’, is frontloaded at the start of the record. Beyond that, you're left longing – and, more importantly, bored.

Wildness is an album that's inherently antithetical to its name; a low-risk and low-reward effort from a band capable of much more.

5/10