I dig Snow Patrol.

There, I said it.

I liked Snow Patrol back when they were just an Irish band getting some BBC airplay for their first album. In hindsight, the first album sounds pretty embryonic, but, still, there was just something about the singer’s voice that connected with me.

Years later, I picked up “Final Straw” at a time when I was going through some upheaval in my personal life (read: chick trouble) and, point blank, that album got me through some tough sh*t. I was working at eHarmony, answering emails from people who were also looking for “the love of their life” and there I was; a guy whose own love life was in shambles. For several months, all I did was show up at work, put “Final Straw” in my PC, and answer emails from hundreds of people who were having troubles of their own. Singer Gary Lightbody’s lyrics hit so close to home that it was sometimes a little hard to listen to, but the songs were so undeniable. There was just enough joy amidst the angst to raise my spirits.

With the release of “Eyes Open”, we find Gary still lamenting the relationship that crashed and burned just prior to Final Straw and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. Just kidding, of course. Again, the songs wear their lyrical heart on their sleeve and one can’t help wonder just what the heck poor Gary did to f*** things up so badly that here he is two years later still trying to find his way out of the debris.

In homage to one of the most-played albums on my numerous road trips this past year, I’ve compiled a sort of alternate Eyes Open, comprised of live versions I’ve gathered. Even if you’ve played this CD as often as I have over the past couple years, some of these performances will breath new life into these great, albeit familiar songs. Also note the cool mash-up of “Chasing Cars/Every Breath You Take”.

You’re All I Have
Hands Open
Chasing Cars
Shut Your Eyes
It’s Beginning To Get To Me
Make This Go On Forever
Set The Fire To The Third Bar
Headlights On Dark Roads
Open Your Eyes

Finish Line

Bonus Track: Every Car You Chase (The Police/Snow Patrol Mash-Up)

(note: an alternate version of “You Could Be Happy” was unavailable at press time.)