Snow Patrol - 'If There's A Rocket Tie Me To it'
Snow Patrol are a little bit like Marmite. Not in that they're all sticky, smell yeasty and are hard to spread on toast (although all possibly true), but in that people are seriously, seriously divided over the issue of whether they are lovely or disgusting.
Now, I'm one of the few people who have never really minded Marmite - you know, I'll have it if there's nothing else in the house, plus it's always on such a good special offer and sits oh so happily at the back of my top kitchen shelf (does the stuff ever go off?).
All of the above applies to Snow Patrol (except that I tend to keep CDs in racks, not kitchen cupboards - you've always got to think of the hygiene).
I loved 'Songs for Polar Bears' (well, try telling me that 'Starfighter Pilot' is not just totally brilliant), 'Chocolate' (such a delicate, beautiful little affair) and that song with Martha Wainwright (simply gorgeous), but on the whole, I've been neither offended nor enthralled any one of their steady flow of recent releases... until this song, that is. And let's just say; it's not extreme enthrallment I'm experiencing.
You see, if there's one thing I can't stand, its laziness (note: this preference only applies when it comes to music, because let's face it, we all appreciate a good lie-in) and slowly but surely, Snow Patrol have become lazy.
(Here's the video)
'If There's a Rocket Tie Me To It', taken alone, is actually pleasant enough and really rather sweet. The lyrics are tender in their simplicity and honesty ("I found a hair, the length of yours on my sleeve"). However, in essence, like much of their recent back catalogue, this song is basically a tweaked and duller version of 'Run'.
Indeed, it seems that over the years Snow Patrol have discovered a calculated formula which allows them to write slightly epic, extremely repetitive, vaguely non-offensive songs that always sit in the shadow of potential brilliance. But it's like they can't quite be bothered to go the extra mile, because their more half-hearted attempts will sell just as well, if not better.
The beginning of 'Rocket' could easily be mistaken for a Westlife song if Gary Lightbody didn't use such big words, and the video doesn't do much to help that, I mean five guys wandering across a deserted beach? Really? Louis Walsh must be behind this somewhere.
Thankfully, the chorus picks things up a bit; it's uptempo (ish) which is kind of unexpected, despite the steady mounting of drums in the background. It actually kind of makes you sit up and take notice for a little minute.
But before you can say "to infinity and beyond!" (oh wait, that's Lightyear, not Lightbody), it's gone back to being a little bit boring again, remaining kinda pleasant and sticking to the dull verse/chorus/chorus structure you'd expect (featuring that classic Snow Patrol thing of bringing the music down to a minimum, so that it's almost just Gary singing). Oh, and there's something just a little Take That about it all.
Overall, the problem with the track is not that it's awful (it's not): it's that it's exactly what you'd expect from Snow Patrol. And 'expected', here, equals boring and unmemorable.
Snow Patrol have honed the sound that sells them records because they think that's what people want. But is it? Is it really? I am a people and this isn't what I want. For a band I've managed to compare to Marmite, this song ain't half bland: so please Snow Patrol, prove to us all that you're not past your Best Before date... quick!
Download: Out now
CD Released: March 9th