Rantplay

NYT: The Case Against Coldplay (2005) by Jon Pareles

When I picked up Coldplay’s new album Mylo Xyloto a couple months ago it was, as  expected, underwhelming. Silly me for anticipating anything else.

Coldplay is one of those bands that, in my opinion, used to be pretty good (circa Parachutes [2001] and Rush of Blood to the Head [2003]), but then they started to really love the sound of their own voices and got stuck in this weird loop, recycling melodies and song structures and abysmally bad lyrics, but also awkwardly trying to update the sound to fit trendy pop…but also still trying to sound like Radiohead/U2/old Coldplay. Now when they release an album, I know to expect one tolerable song, one guilty pleasure, and ten songs that will give my  finger a workout on the “next” button. Coldplay isn’t the only band to succumb to their thirst for mass approval, but they are the only one I know of that seems to revel in good reviews from people who know the least about good music. You could argue that Coldplay was never good in the first place – okay, fair enough – but you can’t argue that they have gotten better over the years.

To rant further, they are sickeningly self-depricating in a completely unwarranted way. I watched Chris Martin sit with Stephen Colbert a couple months ago, and Colbert made a remark about how Coldplay had sold a staggering 50 million albums. Chris Martin chuckles and goes, “No, I think you heard fifty albums.” Like are we supposed to go, wow, that was so cute what he just did there! He thinks that Coldplay doesn’t sound good and no one likes them, aww, he’s such a normal guy. He’s so humble!

No one likes a big ego, but come on. Playing down his band’s extreme success by pretending they can’t sell records isn’t even funny, when you think about it. There are actually bands out there that can’t sell records, and they’re way better than Coldplay. Admittedly I don’t know any bands like that, but Chris Martin is kind of an asshole and his kids have stupid names.

I could expand on this, but let’s just end here for now. If you really want to torture yourself more with the existence of modern Coldplay, read this great 2005 Times article which effectively rips them a new one. Chris Martin later admitted having read it (figures). I wonder what author Jon Pareles would say today, over six years later.

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