Friday, June 20, 2008

Requisite Coldplay Post

I think made it a requirement for all blogs to contain at least one post about Coldplay this week.  Here are my thoughts on the latest album:

1.  I guess I like Viva La Vida better than X&Y.  Coldplay clearly took more chances.  I was sitting in a bar on Wednesday night watching the Royals game, and the house music was tuned to a Sirius station dedicated to Coldplay.  As background music, Viva La Vida kept my foot tapping.
2. Coldplay gets hated on by most people who profess to love music.  They aren't the most inventive band (although I thought Parachutes brought a new sound to Top 40 alt-rock).  Here's the thing I like most about Coldplay: I can listen to their music no matter what mood I'm in.  Critics would say that's because Coldplay's music is bland.  Maybe that's true, but, in my opinion, they are selling out stadiums because they are melodic.  That has to count for something.
3. Coldplay is possibly the most talked about band in the world.  Isn't art supposed to lend itself to discussion?  Because so many people talk about Coldplay, could that lend more artistic credibility to their music?
4. A lot of Viva La Vida reminds me of bits and pieces of other bands.  Parts of "Lost!" (most notably the beat) sound like "Venus" by Air.  The guitar solo halfway through "42" sounds like a Radiohead solo.  "Lovers in Japan" sounds like a piano-driven version of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name."  The "bonus section" of "Yes" reminds me of "The Swamp Song" by Oasis or maybe something else Radiohead would put out.  The middle "solo" (if you can call it that) of "Viva La Vida" reminds me of something...maybe it's the soundtrack to Stomp the Yard, maybe it's a song by High Places called "Jump In", maybe it's something else.  I can't put my finger on it.
5. The big question for me is this: does Coldplay sound familiar (which isn't a bad thing) or too familiar (which isn't a good thing)?  I guess it doesn't really matter.  I like Chris Martin's voice.  I like their sound, even if it can get bland at times.

Amid the criticism, I guess Coldplay can take solace in this: people will talk, but at least they're talking.  Not that Coldplay needs to take solace in anything.  I think they'll be just fine.

- Joel

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