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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

X&Y

I remember when Coldplay first came onto the pop music scene. As Oasis-influenced/Radiohead-influenced Britpop was breathing its final breaths, Coldplay's "Yellow" came out. A pretty ballad with simple lyrics, a catchy guitar bend and straightforward drumming, "Yellow" was memorable, but it very well could have been a one-hit wonder. People (including myself) had enough of all these singers that went for high notes like Thom Yorke and Jeff Buckley did, but I thought Chris Martin's voice had some vitality.

When I heard "Trouble" and "Shiver" after scanning Parachutes for other songs to play on KTCU, I became a huge Coldplay fan. The songs touched me in the right way with melody, hooks and solid drumming. After hearing the album, all of their b-sides (which would make for a fine LP itself), a live show on the BBC, I was nuts about Coldplay.

For a few months in 2002, I kept seeing this local cable channel playing a VCR copy of a Coldplay concert. In the set were two new songs, "In My Place" and "Animals." I thought "In My Place" was an incredible song but I thought "Animals" was kind of "eh, not all that great." I was excited about their next record and I was pleased when I heard A Rush of Blood to the Head.

However, after hearing A Rush of Blood to the Head many times, something just doesn't knock me out. I especially like "In My Place," "Clocks," "A Rush of Blood to the Head" and "Warning Sign," but the record is just, for lack of a better word, simple. The songs are pretty but just when you think a great hook is about to grab you, it doesn't. Maybe I'm being over-critical here, I'm not sure.

As we await Coldplay's third album, X&Y, I'm scratching my head. People are talking about this record like when U2 releases a new album. This a big event. This is not just another record nor is this some flimsy hype about a band with weird haircuts and "the" in their name. I doubt that this record is going to make more Coldplay fans. There will probably be more Coldplay detractors but this is one of the most anticipated records of the summer.

I'll check out X&Y, but I have no idea of what to expect.

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