ANOTHER Gary Lightbody side project? After Reindeer Section and his usual Snow Patrol day job, this is the third 'band' he's put together now. At this rate he might just be able to challenge Jack White and Damon Albarn... ok maybe not.
Anyway, Tired Pony is apparently his attempt at making a 'country music' album. Why the hell he would want to make a fuckin' country music album is beyond me, but thankfully, The Place We Ran From actually does run away from being an actual pure country music album.
The 'band' consists of Lightbody (who writes most of the songs, hence the reason most of it sounds like a twang-y Snow Patrol album), R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Belle & Sebastian's Richard Colburn and a few others (including Zooey Deschanel as well!). The music? Pretty damn good, actually.
Like I said, most of the songs DO sound a bit like Snow Patrol's usual stuff (Lightody's stop-start-stop-start style of song writing is very prominent), but they are more mellow, and more soothing than Snow Patrol's usual soaring, crashing chorus-driven hits.
Surprisingly though, my favorite songs here are those NOT sung by Lightbody primarily. Get On The Road (which Lightbody sings with Zooey), which although reminds me of Set The Fire To The Third Bar, is a beautifully executed duet that soars halfway through. Elsewhere, the Iaian Archer sung and written I Am A Landslide reminds me a little of Stevie Nick's Landslide (especially the line that actually mentions 'Landslide'), but the whole song is still wonderfully catchy and probably the most 'country' sounding of the lot. And then there's The Bood Book, sung with the deep baritone of Tom Smith (from Editors). Those songs stand out amongst the Lightbody led numbers even more because they don't sound like a country version of a Snow Patrol song, which is a good thing.
Don't get me wrong though, I love this album. It's just that I wish Lightbody had made a little more effort to make it sound less like a Snow Patrol album; much like what he did with his Reindeer Section albums. But it's still a good solid album though, not quite as country as Lightbody inplies, but still very much decent, especially if you're a Snow Patrol fan.