Snow Patrol Up to Now

Snow Patrol Up to Now
Christmastime always sees a deluge of "best of" records. An easy cash grab, compilations capitalize on the need for palatable, if not personal, gifts. In that vein, Snow Patrol's Up To Now is a decent option. The band will assure you that it isn't a "best of" in the traditional sense, although live selections, side-project (i.e., Reindeer Section) inclusions, a trio of familiar-sounding new cuts and an insidious cover of "Crazy in Love" don't make it particularly fresh. However, the record's timing works in its favour; it can conveniently serve as background music for any holiday gathering. A beige record from a sub-U2 stadium-aspiring band (see Coldplay, Keane, etc.), the album is entirely innocuous and occasionally catchy. "Chocolate" and "Run" remain pop rock gems that soar at all the right melodramatic moments and Reindeer Section's "You Are My Joy" has a festive bent (it's the word "joy"). Grandma will approve. (Interscope)