Monday, April 9th, 2018

Snow Patrol – Don’t Give In

On second thought, maybe these guys should…


Crystal Leww: I shotgunned over two hundred hours of Grey’s Anatomy earlier this year. Watching those quickly in succession made me realize how many versions of “Chasing Cars” there are on that show. Listening to “Don’t Give In” makes me realize that every single version of “Chasing Cars” is better than present day Snow Patrol. 

Alex Clifton: I loved Snow Patrol with a burning passion some fourteen years ago, back when “Run” felt like the only song in the world that understood me, but this fails to capture the magic of their former work. The overall sound of “Don’t Give In” isn’t bad, but Gary Lightbody’s falsetto isn’t strong enough to carry that chorus — which is particularly troubling, as the chorus is about not giving in, but his voice sounds like it’ll give out at any moment. I certainly don’t expect Snow Patrol to sound exactly how they did fourteen years ago, back when Britpop was still a close cultural memory, but this isn’t the direction I hoped they’d go. 

Tim de Reuse: Lightbody sounds absolutely defeated all through this song about not giving up, and the chorus is too sparse to have the impact it was likely intended to have, given the number of times it’s repeated. What was this song supposed to be, then? It feels pulled in several directions at once, too restrained to be an uplifting chant-along, but with too much stadium rock thump to be in any way poignant. The only part that approaches thematic sense is the wonderfully direct “Don’t fall in love with the, with the way things were/It’ll fuck up your mind”; everything else is an awkward melange of chanted vocals, confused mourning, and all-purpose inspirational rambling that never sits right over the instrumental’s endless intro.

Juana Giaimo: This is probably one of the worst song beginnings: Gary Lightbody tries forcing some coarse vocals and they come off as if he was a very old man preaching — and indeed the lyrics of these lines could be part of a religious discourse. The worst is that this isn’t just an introduction, it is also the chorus.

Alfred Soto: As much as phony enthusiasm repels me — I see a lot of phony enthusiasm around university administrator types — at least I’ll stay awake. Offering enervating advice is unforgivable. 

Katherine St Asaph: When I was 17, a producer I idolized, whose artist’s forum I spent inordinate amounts of time on, wrote that Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” was one of his favorite songs of the year. When you’re 17 these things always feel a little more like a puncturing than they should: you’re telling me this elaborate (if overly narrow) musical canon I’ve built, this operatic Dungeons and Dragons teenage fantasy, is also supposed to include Grey’s Anatomy normcore? Later I grew up, realized radio-pop was frequently good actually, and as a result this new Snow Patrol song, while not good, isn’t something I hate as much as you’d think. Or maybe it’s just that now we’ve got Shawn Mendes to compare it to.

Hannah Jocelyn: I keep hearing the “da da da-ya da da da” part of “Young Dumb & Broke” in iPhone game commercials, and it’s steadily irritating me more and more. I didn’t know vocal fry could get worse, but then I heard Gary Lightbody sing “don’t give in” like he’s already given up, then keeping that style while breaking his own meter to get across “follow your instincts.” The song only gets worse from there, as percussion and booming vocal doubles come in but fail to fill the space (or have enough to distract from that chord progression). Amusingly, it sounds like that chorus was copied and pasted — of all the takes, why use and re-use the take where Gary had a cold? And why waste your curse word on this song? The flaws don’t end with the lyrics or the production (or that awful guitar solo). The song was mixed by Rich Costey, and for someone who’s best known for working with slick radio rock groups like Muse and Joywave, this sounds unpolished and just unpleasant, the final blow to any goodwill this song could possibly have. Listening to “Don’t Give In” is embarrassing, coming from a band who, even at their poppiest, found room for 17 minute songs and didn’t actually give in to total inanity. Guess what, Snow Patrol? Ya basic. 

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One Response to “Snow Patrol – Don’t Give In”

  1. Thanks for not editing out my Good Place reference I greatly appreciate it :)