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June 14, 2005

Coldplay remains at square one

by Eve Gleichman, Online Editor-in-Chief
Cliché: adj. 1. A trite phrase or expression; also: the idea expressed by it. 2. A hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation. 3. Something (as a menu item) that has become overly familiar or commonplace. 4. Coldplay's new CD, "X&Y."

With Coldplay's recent spike in popularity, eager fans have awaited an album which would confirm their love for this notoriously uncontroversial band of glittering generalities. Perhaps fans got what they were looking for. Coldplay's "X&Y" delivers much of the same inspirations presented in their last three album releases, embraces broad values and unfortunately makes for an overall unexciting album.

Coldplay's new album "X&Y" doesn't give listeners anything new.
Coldplay's new album "X&Y" doesn't give listeners anything new.
The most abysmal song on the album, "What If," sums up "X&Y" in four minutes and fifty five seconds. The mind-numbing song consists of front-man Chris Martin singing "What if there was no light/nothing wrong, nothing right," repeatedly crooning "what if" and chanting "what if you decide/that you don't want me there by my side." Besides being filled with lyrical clichés one would expect to find on the wall of a third grade classroom, "What If" is also plagued by the same dull bridges that fill the album's first song, "Square One."

The track "White Shadows" endeavors to diversify the instrumental elements of the album, but fails miserably. The track only contributes tacky a 80's synthesis accompanied by Martin's cheesy lyrics, "Do you ever feel like there's something missing/things you'll never understand/little white shadows sparkle and glisten."

"Talk" is hardly a step up from the other unremarkable tracks of "X&Y." Martin begins by addressing his brother about what seems to be a dramatic life event, but then trails off into yet another plethora of generalized statements and repetitive verses.

The track "Fix You," however stands against the otherwise disappointing tracks of "X&Y." Though listeners have given up on searching for even remotely meaningful lyrics by this point, both the lyrical and instrumental aspects improve tremendously in this ballad, making it the best song on the album.

Right behind "Fix You" is "Speed of Sound," a fan favorite and one of the more upbeat and catchy pieces on the album. "Speed of Sound" shows more lyrical depth than any of the album's other songs. For the rest of the CD though, there is a lull in the musical development reminiscent of previous tracks by the band such as "The Scientist" from "A Rush of Blood to the Head" and "Trouble" from their more exciting 2003 release, "Coldplay Live."

If you're looking for an hour of innocuous and generally uninteresting music, perhaps "X&Y" is for you. The album is a mere continuation of a series of unmemorable musical collections that Coldplay has brought to the table for so many years.

While it is hard to believe anyone would be offended by the clichéd sound Coldplay conveys, it is harder to believe anyone would insist upon listening to this release for more than ten minutes. Perhaps, if Coldplay decides to present exciting elements in future releases, they will begin to deserve the respect and following they have so astoundingly held on to.



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  • Bradley (View Email) on June 15, 2005 at 6:20 AM
    What a biased opinion! I would have to say that the new album sounds OLD at first, but the more you listen to the music, the better it gets. The music grows on you. It isn't like their single clocks, which is extremely accessible.

    Don't compare their new music soley on their old music! The new album is quite different to the usual coldplay: The piano no longer plays a major role: the guitar lines are more precise. They have tried many different things - notice how there are a lot of new drum beats?

    I've have been seeing reports like this everywhere. Same old story. Same old hack at coldplay. Boring and unoriginal.

    (And who gives a damn about lyrics! It's the melody that matters)
  • J. on June 15, 2005 at 9:00 AM
    I disagree.
  • Big Dawgie on June 15, 2005 at 1:30 PM
    Incisive, thorough and hard hitting review. You must have a solid classical music backround. Terrific writing.
  • not important on June 22, 2005 at 7:42 PM
    I also disagree.
  • andy on June 24, 2005 at 9:21 AM
    i agree 100%. coldplay is so BORING.
  • Johny (View Email) on June 25, 2005 at 3:29 AM
    Another classic Coldplay hater who cant appreciate Coldplay's fine music. I do agree that X&Y is not as good as their first two albums but it is still great. Quite frankly, i find it astounding that the band is seen as "boring" when they've had so much well deserved success. If they are boring why are they so popular? Why?
  • to johny on June 26, 2005 at 3:47 PM
    I think the writer made that quite clear. They've managed to maintain popularity because their music is so unoffensive that it is impossible for them to be hated entirely. That being said, it makes for generally uninteresting music. People like the generalities presented in their music - they're so cliched, yet meaningless. "While it is hard to believe anyone would be offended by the clichéd sound Coldplay conveys, it is harder to believe anyone would insist upon listening to this release for more than ten minutes." This is so well stated. She clearly does not hate the sound, she is just bored with it. I'm hoping I interpreted that correctly (Eve?).
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