A missing centre, and I'm caught in the middle

… It’s the band’s anguished professions of supposed political concern, while simultaneously indulging the rampant self-pity of the most cosseted, comfortable constituency of music fans the world has ever known – that’s the most irritating aspect of Coldplay. Rock’n’roll used to be a rallying cry, a clarion call; now, in their hands, it’s just a palliative.

Right. Can these be the last words we hear about this unbelievably non-band? I managed to lose my incoherent monologue imagining Gwyneth and Chris indulging in an earnest, healthy, dessicated act of procreation, so I think that’s a yes.

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One Response to A missing centre, and I'm caught in the middle

  1. Nile says:

    I love Coldplay… It’s like U2 without the irritating git in the funny glasses. Yay! for a tribute band that’s actually *good*, says I.

    Well, mostly. And a good tribute band isn’t the same as being actually, er… Good. I mean, The Edge would’ve made something truly astonishing out of ‘Clocks’, and it really needs Bono’s voice; and you can go through all of Coldplay’s singles and play the parlour game of picking out the band that did it all first, and who could and *would* have done it better.

    Well, most of them would done so: some are still doing the ‘original’ and ‘creative’ thing, which means moving on and doing new things, instead of retreating into safe and saleable rehashes of the back catalogue. To their credit, Coldplay have an excellent niche, pasticheing bands who have slid into this creative decline: these decaying relics are doomed to slide further and further down the charts as they release endless soundalikes of bygone sucesses and Coldplay are, I think, doing a much better job of it.

    But this is damnably faint praise, as Coldplay are supposed to be the forefront of BritPop, accomplished, expressive, and original.

    I think the reason they are getting the airtime and the rave reviews is due to demographics: some of us liked the older stuff, and we’ve got middle-aged and conservative and don’t want any of the new music ‘our’ bands are playing now. So it’s wonderful to hear Coldplay – who don’t have the rough edges, and have much, much better studio standards – playing the music we like, the way it always ought to be. And because Coldplay are young, we can all pretend that we, too, are still into the cutting edge of contemporary popular music.

    Once you recognise that – and it’s a revolting observation – you’ll see why a minority of music lovers find themselves loathing Coldplay, who are good musicians playing fairly good music, a combination that in other circumstances make them well worth going to see.

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