The love locks of Paris.
It seems like everyone has an opinion on Coldplay. Today, I asked a good friend what hers was. Mixed reviews it seems.
My opinion? Let me say this about Coldplay, they are the only artist that I have gone out and bought every one of their albums. This is saying something as I currently have some 1,633 different artists on my itunes. The “too mainstream” argument, which is often used against Coldplay, is one I can’t stand. Get over yourself. It is not a crime for music to be likeable or for bands to be successful.
Through the years I feel as though the band has only matured and gained even more substance from their release of the beautiful and introspective Parachutes. To be honest, I wasn’t really interested in this album when it came out. But it probably had more to do with the fact that I was twelve and was more engaged by the other A-class talent* on my Now 6 compilation CD: Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys… I had no patience for the mellow “Yellow” when it was up against JLo’s epic “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.”
Anyway, all this to say I saw the error of my ways when I first heard “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face.” I asked a particularly artsy friend about it (culture was not a strong point of my hometown) and she recorded Rush of Blood to the Head onto a cassette tape for me. I’ve loved the band ever since.
Coldplay usually make a big musical step every time they release an album. Here’s the list.
Parachutes : A strong debut. A subtle, yet masterful, work of brilliance (I’ve since gone back and realized); the lyrics are honest, interesting and introspective while the music is more simple compared to their later works. Fav picks: “Shiver” and “Everything’s Not Lost.”
A Rush of Blood to the Head : My first love. More rock sounds, but still fairly melancholic. It has less introspection and more confidence. Fav picks: “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face” and “Amsterdam.”
X&Y: A successful experiment. This was the moment the band seemed to be branded as “mainstream,” and the extra money that comes with this label was evident in their sound. “It’s Coldplay does Radiohead” said the NME as they experimented with morphing sounds and musical shapes. Fav picks: one of the best songs of all time, “Fix You” and “Swallowed By the Sea.”
Viva la Vida Or Death and All His Friends and Prospekt’s March EP: Hello money. With crazy, crazy success the band employed a full orchestra, tried their hand at some honky-tonk and bluesy sounds, and dropped (by a couple octaves) Martin’s recognizable falsetto voice. The results are stunning. I would say this is the most music-focused album. Fav picks: “Life in Technicolour I & II,” “Lovers In Japan” as well as “Prospekt’s March” and “Glasses of Water” from Prospekt’s March.
Mylo Xyloto: The sum of all of their parts: some subtle, heartfelt melodies, some rock, some experimentation, some grand orchestration, some mainstream pop elements, and overall a whole lot of hopeful, happy vibes from a mature and truly successful group. Fav picks: “Hurts Like Heaven” and “Us Against the World.”
Coincidentally, while having the conversation about Coldplay with my friend, I mentioned a beautiful bonus track on X&Y. Later that evening, we went to the cinema and heard the song, which was released seven years ago, used in The Amazing Spiderman. A Doodledrops sign! It had to be shared.
Chris Martin wrote the song for, and was originally supposed to record the piece with, Johnny Cash, but Cash passed away before they were able to do so. “Til Kingdom Come” is hiding after the final track “Twisted Logic” in X&Y. I almost feel as if I shouldn’t reveal this secret song, but if you’ve actually read through all of these ramblings, I think you’ve paid your Coldplay dues.
“Til Kingdom Come” by Coldplay
*Side note: Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open” also made it onto Now 6- Congratulate him for us, Julia!