Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. 80
    Lightbody and company manage to deliver an unyielding and substantially satisfying collection of high quality upbeat tracks and atmospheric ballads.
  2. Dec 15, 2011
    80
    Fallen Empires is typically and unashamedly arena-friendly bombast ... leavened by leader Gary Lightbody's often appealing insecurity.[Dec. 2011 p. 134]
  3. Jan 10, 2012
    75
    It's not where you want to spend all of your listening time, but it's comforting at worst and occasionally fantastic.
  4. 75
    For all the sentiment, it's the simplest stuff that rings true.
  5. Jan 12, 2012
    70
    Snow Patrol still have the potential to hit the sweet spot between U2's stadium baiting, Coldplay's icy elegance, and Elbow's art school-infused, north country soul.
  6. Jan 10, 2012
    70
    Although the sparkling production of Empires doesn't allow for much in the way of nuance or detail, Snow Patrol still attacks the choruses of "You Are" and "The Weight Of Love" with enough oomph that you can already hear the stadium sing-a-longs.
  7. Jan 10, 2012
    70
    What makes this all feel reasonably unforced is the abiding earnestness in the songwriting.
  8. Nov 11, 2011
    70
    Get these cuts [I'll Never Let Go and Called Out In The Dark] out of the way, though, and Fallen Empires settles down and improves.
  9. Jan 19, 2012
    60
    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.
  10. Nov 11, 2011
    60
    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.
  11. 60
    Overall, it's their most spirited effort yet, and the changes have been deftly effected in a way which shouldn't alienate their core fanbase too much.
  12. Jan 24, 2012
    50
    Whether they're trying to obscure the songs' perceived flaws or make some sort of dazzling artistic statement, the band opts for grandiose production (courtesy of Jacknife Lee) and sprawling arrangements--cue the orchestra and the choir--that blunt the effect of Lightbody's deceptively strong songwriting.
  13. 50
    Keyboard effects aside, it's the same-old same-old, and whether you love Snow Patrol or hate 'em, Fallen Empires will do little to change your mind.
  14. Jan 10, 2012
    50
    Snow Patrol fall back to the blandly inoffensive safe zone--though at least they sound a little brighter.
  15. 50
    Every successful band eventually put out a bloated album, and for Northern Ireland's Snow patrol, it's Fallen Empires. [Feb 2012, p.84]
  16. Nov 28, 2011
    50
    Ultimately Snow Patrol fare best when they play to their strengths.
  17. Jan 19, 2012
    48
    You get the sense they're shooting for something epic, something that would sound just as big as the pop bangers on radio, but the results are goofy.
  18. Jan 12, 2012
    40
    Packs too many failed experiments. [Dec. 2011 p. 98]
  19. It's an hour of radio-friendly pop-rock in a Deacon Blue meets pre-ironic U2 vein, all over-reverbed vocals and mildly modish electronics.
  20. Nov 14, 2011
    40
    Choruses range from slushy ("Oh you will never know how much I love you so") to barren ("This is all you ever asked for, this is all you'll get"), but sometimes there's a shard of sincere sentiment.
  21. Nov 11, 2011
    40
    The quartet are once again playing it safe with their crowd-pleasing formula of surging riffs, queasily memorable choruses and lyrics which, like Mystic Meg horoscopes burn with portent while saying nothing. [Dec 2011, p.96]
  22. Nov 11, 2011
    40
    Moments of the Jacknife Lee-produced album are assured--Gary Lightbody over-emotes particularly well on the maudlin "Life-ning" and "The Symphony" is rightfully pompous--but the uneasy truth is that Snow Patrol are merely background dinner party music for accountants.
  23. Nov 11, 2011
    40
    Their sixth album, however, sticks too rigidly to the formula.
  24. Jan 10, 2012
    37
    Yet for all the textural variety they provide, those welcome cameos rarely succeed in leavening Lightbody's pervasive gloom.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Dec 10, 2012
    10
    Nothing less than the most beautiful album I have ever heard. This maybe me getting obsessed by it, probably, though I'm not really a hugeNothing less than the most beautiful album I have ever heard. This maybe me getting obsessed by it, probably, though I'm not really a huge snow patrol fan. To some, I can see how the album maybe quite cheesy. However, this is my honest review and this is how I feel. No song drifts below 6/10, most are either 8, 9 or 10. Every song I love, from the beautiful majesty and poetic similarities and yet differences of Garden Rules and New York, to the fun poppy single feel of Called out in the dark and In the End, to rising exciting torrents of I'll never let go and Fallen Empires. My personal favourites though are the grand, almost Florence and the Machine in style, The weight of love and the happy, warm, relaxing brew of The symphony. But in general, I adore how the whole album seems to rhyme, the way the lyrics of Empire are weaved really well throughout the album, and just how every song is a blast. So there you go, not the most critically assessed review, just an 18 year old guy's honest opinion. An 18 year old guy, who second favourite album is Neon bible by Arcade fire I may add... Full Review »
  2. Jan 13, 2012
    8
    Lightbody claimed that this album would take Snow Patrol in a new direction; apart from a few samples of electronica, this album is trademarkLightbody claimed that this album would take Snow Patrol in a new direction; apart from a few samples of electronica, this album is trademark Snow Patrol. It features Lightbody's personal and glossy lyrics, typical attempts to draw you in with the Irish croon of his distinctive voice and songs that are written to mean something to anyone. In those ways, the album succeeds; but it is what it is and not anything else. Full Review »
  3. May 22, 2015
    10
    Fallen Empires is yet another great album from Snow Patrol. Suprisingly melancholy, this LP still remains hopeful and warmly personal. LyricsFallen Empires is yet another great album from Snow Patrol. Suprisingly melancholy, this LP still remains hopeful and warmly personal. Lyrics talk about lost love, childhood, family, and home, and the album ends with the great piano track "Broken Bottles Form a Star (Prelude)." The album leaves the listener with a sense of catharsis after Lightbody croons over the highs and lows of love. "Fallen Empires" touches the heart in a way Snow Patrol's previous albums never could. Full Review »