The Bottom Line
"Chasing Cars," Snow Patrol's breakthrough American hit, is a beneficiary of the growing tendency of TV series to extend their branding through attachment to songs played on the show. Featured on the second season finale of Grey's Anatomy, "Chasing Cars" got a boost onto the pop charts and pop radio. This happy occurrence has introduced a true gem of a love song to pop audiences.
Listen to "Chasing Cars."
- Simple and resonant lyrics
- Gary Lightbody's vocal performance
- No improvements needed
- Slowly building guitar pop ballad
- Elegantly restrained vocals
- Words to remember
Guide Review - Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" quite possibly could begin to open floodgates for a wealth of similar sweeping, British, pop-rock ballads crossing the Atlantic in its wake. However, even if it doesn't, "Chasing Cars" will stand on its own as one of the most effortlessly beautiful pop love songs of the year.
Lead vocalist Gary Lightbody has the perfect instrument to convey the power and emotion of his words. He has strong enough vocal chops to hold his own against the surge of backing guitars, but wisely avoids vocal histrionics that could break the song's spell. It is no surprise that Lightbody has said "Chasing Cars" is "the most pure and open love song" he has written.
As a music writer who listens to hundreds if not thousands of songs over the course of a year, I'm not easily impressed by a song lacking an out-of-the-box hook. However, ultimately it is the simple poetry in the lyrics of "Chasing Cars" that cause it to rise above the ordinary. These are words with a beauty and grace that will draw admirers for years to come.