Author Topic: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread  (Read 41913 times)

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Offline kale

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2009, 03:39:26 PM »
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Funny, the ColdPlay Album will win Grammy for Album of the Year and Eno will win Grammy for producer of the Year.
Bono in Bonolands, I hope you don't get thrown off here,....you are the funniest thing on here!

Offline Lesmo

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2009, 03:42:11 PM »
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Funny, the ColdPlay Album will win Grammy for Album of the Year and Eno will win Grammy for producer of the Year.
Bono in Bonolands, I hope you don't get thrown off here,....you are the funniest thing on here!

I see, you meant to be fun... Sorry  ;)

Sydney_Mike

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2009, 03:48:42 PM »
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Funny, the ColdPlay Album will win Grammy for Album of the Year and Eno will win Grammy for producer of the Year.
Bono in Bonolands, I hope you don't get thrown off here,....you are the funniest thing on here!

Agree, there are far too many negative posts about the band from B.I.B and I sense that most are intended solely to be provocative.

They remind me of those lines from "All because of you":
I love the sound of my own voice,
I didn't give anyone else a choice
An intellectual tortoise

Offline Bono in Bonolands

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2009, 03:58:22 PM »
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Funny, the ColdPlay Album will win Grammy for Album of the Year and Eno will win Grammy for producer of the Year.

So?¿?¿?

In Spain the Grammy's are considered the kind of prizes given to mediocre musicians like Mariah Carey or Beyoncé...

 ;)

Offline the Edge Gotto

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #64 on: January 21, 2009, 06:58:35 PM »
I was at the mall today and I heard Viva La Vida twice in different stores. One time was actually in Nordstrom's by the live pianist. I was saying to my mum that I should play part of New Year's Day (the only song I know on piano).

Offline uuu222

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #65 on: January 21, 2009, 08:12:46 PM »
As the years pass, I continue to lose interest in Coldplay.

Offline Bono in Bonolands

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #66 on: January 22, 2009, 12:55:44 AM »
Have I ever mentioned that it's been cool to hate Coldplay for a few years now? Or have I ever made the comparison between Coldplay and Creed? I'm sure I must have, since I've covered my share of piano-based rock bands that cause critics to draw comparisons to Coldplay, noting that the sound has become so trendy that it makes it easy to hate the people who helped to popularize the trend. That's where the Creed comparison comes in - both Coldplay and Creed are highly popular, reasonably inspirational-sounding rock bands who have established the "middle-of-the-road" sound for Top 40 radio for a time. The neo-grunge wannabes were seemingly everywhere in the earlier part of the decade, and as that began to tapir off, it started to feel like everybody and their brother wanted to do the Britpop thing. While there are plenty of reasons people have cited for hating the source material, I don't think it's entirely fair to hate a band just because a bunch of other bands want to sound like them. Nor is it fair to hate a band because they bear superficial resemblance to a more critically respectable band (in Creed's case, Pearl Jam; in Coldplay's case, Radiohead). But I think it's more than fair to hate a band because they show a lot of potential and yet never seem to live up to it. I never hated Creed or Coldplay. But I did find myself repeatedly frustrated by both of them, for taking the easy way out on albums that were supposed to be an artistic reinvention or some such nonsense. Both have done their fair share of floating by on the obvious reuse of gimmicks that worked wonders for them in the past. But my slightly off-the-wall comparison between the two ends when we note that Creed broke apart under the weight of Scott Stapp's hubris in 2004, and Coldplay has managed to soldier on beyond that traditionally difficult third album, finally achieving the noteworthy reinvention that I somehow suspected they had in them all along.

In case you haven't heard (and surely mine must not be the first review of the new Coldplay that you've skimmed!), a lot of the critics are raving about the British band's latest effort, which follows the Sufjan Stevens school of naming things twice as it calls itself Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. That's a hell of a pretentious mouthful, but every now and then, grandiose names are actually given to artistic creations worthy of their descriptions. Essentially, Coldplay's recipe success on this album was to figure out everything that made up the typical Coldplay song, and do their best to throw it out and try different tricks. Having legendary producer Brian Eno on board (he's sort of known as the go-to guy for radical reinventions - see U2's Achtung Baby) apparently helped a great deal - they actually followed up on the synthesized noodling that characterized some of X&Y's more interesting moments, while taking great care to not let every single song culminate in the obvious climax of a huge, lighter-waving chorus with the piano pounding away methodically on every quarter note. This is not to say that it was always tedious when Coldplay used this recipe in the past - some of the very simple choruses and repetitive melodies of their old stuff, coupled with Chris Martin's gushy falsetto, can still send shivers down my spine. But there’s a difference between stumbling across a successful formula and repeating it ad nauseum, hoping for lightning to strike again.

So now we have a collection of songs that bring the individual pieces of the band into play at unexpected times, songs that are based around unusual and exotic instruments, songs that are intentionally disjointed and slightly jagged around the edges, and songs that play as fragments of conscious thought, bridging the gap between fuller explosions of sound as they drift quietly by. It's a lot to take in, but Coldplay manages to cover a commendable amount of ground without overstaying their welcome. Viva la Vida's 13 songs (contained within 10 tracks - there are three instances of two "songs" being crammed onto one track, two of which are not listed as such) run a lean 46 minutes, which is interesting when compared to the tedious way that X&Y (which was probably less than ten minutes longer) dragged its feet towards the end with just as many individual songs.

Offline Bono in Bonolands

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #67 on: January 22, 2009, 12:56:03 AM »

What's interesting about this album is that I might find myself nitpicking the individual pieces and going, "I wish this song said a little more so that I had more to interpret" or "This intercalary piece in between two listed songs feels incomplete", etc., but as I listen more, I'm getting a better feel for the interconnectedness of it. I tend to focus on the strength of individual songs and then expect that strength to be maintained throughout an album in order to give it the highest grade possible, but here, I feel like the individual songs - while many of them do play well on their own as singles or as entries on a mix CD - are jigsaw puzzle pieces that make more sense when you hold them up next to one another, rotate them, figure out how they fit into one another. While Parachutes proved to be a lovely little slow-burner, and A Rush of Blood to the Head was stocked to the brim with cascading, romantic choruses, Viva la Vida feels like it's Coldplay's first fully realized album, in which the order in which the songs are presented truly matters, and in which the catchy singles (none of which present themselves as blatantly obvious radio hits at first) play better within their surrounding context than they do blaring from mall speakers while almost none of the ears picking up the signal are fully engaged with the words or musical subtleties underneath the musical confection.

In short, Coldplay has finally surpassed their "reasonably above average" status, and created an album that I'm not ashamed to award five stars to. It's the first time that they've truly earned the larger-than-life status that's been bestowed upon them for as long as they've been signed to a major label.

Life in Technicolor
While Brian Eno isn't the only producer to grace this album, his influence is felt as the first sounds on this record begin to fade in - a warm, dreamy wash of synthesizers that gives way to a more spirited, organic instrumental jam featuring some sort of Middle Eastern dulcimer as its lead instrument. We don't even hear Chris Martin's voice until two minutes in, and even then, he's just chiming in with cries of "Ohhhh!" to cheer on his bandmates. This inexplicably comes to a rather abrupt end, making it seem like an odd intro to the album's first "real song", but upon listening to the full album, the context for this track becomes clearer.

Cemeteries of London
God is in the houses, and God is in my head
And all the cemeteries in London
I see God come in my garden, but I don't know what he said
For my heart, it wasn't open...
Our first song with lyrics picks up with almost the opposite approach - Chris Martin's first words float about in the ether, painting a picture of a dark night and lost souls wandering about in the fog, defying you to discern the rhythm as his piano softly tinkles about in the background. It's only at the chorus that we catch on - they're playing in 6/8 time, given away by the echoing cadence of the line, "Singing la la, la la la ley". And that's a Coldplay trademark if I've ever heard one - these guys love to sing about singing - but it's subverted, written into a protracted refrain that meanders away from the expected climax. It's only as the drums and the Spanish-inspired handclaps begin to pick up that the song starts to get more dense and busy, culminating in a sweet guitar solo by Jonny Buckland. The whole song feels like a less intense, but more ghostly, incarnation of "Shiver", and indeed I do get a bit of a shiver when the song comes to a close and a brief, placid piano coda is played, which is musically disjoint from the rest of the song, but which somehow ends it with just the right touch of grace.

Lost!
Just because I'm hurting
Doesn't mean I'm hurt
Doesn't mean I didn't get what I deserved
No better and no worse...
`This one's a real oddity in the Coldplay catalogue - it's got a world-beat sort of feel to it with its bongos and handclaps and its corrugated texture, almost completely shoving the usual drum sounds into the background, and allowing the warmth of an organ to give the song a melodic underpinning. Totally unexpected, but reasonably catchy, even if the song does seem to drift about a bit where it could have had a stronger chorus. It seems to be a song about losing battles but subversively winning the war, as Martin asserts, "Just because I'm losing doesn't mean I'm lost", and later on, "You might be a big fish in a little pond, doesn't mean you've won." Truth be told, these lyrics are a bit hackneyed, and not one of the better examples of songwriting to be found on this record, but I still see this becoming a hit single nonetheless. The way Buckland saws into it with another memorable guitar solo almost seals it, and the tranquil organ outro is pretty much begging to serve as the lead-in to "Fix You" when played live.

42
You thought you might be a ghost
You didn't get to heaven, but you made it close...
OK, seriously, does somebody in this band watch Lost, or what? Because this song's inexplicable title, while it could be intended as a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference, is also one of Hurley's cursed lottery numbers on the aforementioned hit show. The lyrics actually remind me a bit of Hurley - more specifically the asylum-bound, slightly unhinged, flash-forward version of the character who sees characters that died on the island. The way that Chris Martin softly intones, "Those who are dead are not dead, they're just living in my head" certainly sets the stage for some sort of deranged character's internal drama. There actually isn't too much else to the lyrics here - it's mostly that solemn verse and a much more upbeat refrain right in the middle of the song, bridged in an almost non-sequitur way by a futuristic but dystopian set of jagged rhythms and slightly atonal guitar playing that finds Buckland doing his best Johnny Greenwood impression. For all of the Coldplay/Radiohead comparisons (usually unfavorable towards Coldplay) that have haunted this band in the past, I've never really seen it, since most of Coldplay's output has been so straight-laced and earnest, whereas Radiohead is hell-bent on being as subversive as possible. That's not a knock - I like Radiohead, and so does Coldplay. They've cited this tune as an intentional homage. And it works as such, with Martin gleefully "ooh"ing along with the guitar's weird, dissonant tune, as if to summon his own inner Thom Yorke.

Lovers in Japan
Tonight, maybe we're gonna run
Dreaming of the Osaka sun
Dreaming of when the morning comes...
And now, as four majestic notes ring out, we transition from death and mental decay into the rapturous mood of a young soul free-falling its way into total romantic bliss. If you're familiar with the old Coldplay trick of creating a cascading keyboard riff and then pounding it into your skull over the course of an entire song, then you might have a little trouble with this one. But I love every second of it. The piano is bright, quick, and almost hyperactive, ringing out in its jerky, syncopated, overjoyed rhythm as Will Champion's drums rat-a-tat-tat along in time, the entire song shimmering like a rising sun's rays bouncing off of the vast sea at dawn. It's a total flight of fantasy, but despite its rapturous tone, there's talk of soldiers and wanting to run away, and one has to wonder if this is the kind of love affair that wars have been fought over... perhaps even that wars have been fought to prevent.

Reign of Love
Locusts will lift me up
I'm just a prisoner in a reign of love...
The first of our "twofer" tracks has this quiet coda at the end, its sound resembling a peaceful stroll alongside a tranquil pool, with the gently rippling piano representing the slight wavering of one's reflection as the water is disturbed by a small pebble. It's very quiet, and Chris Martin's voice is hushed, so much that you might need to turn the volume up after that last track to make out what he's saying. Even then, it's cryptic - this "reign of love" that he seems to sing about reverently is made up of locusts and prisons and heavy loads... is this the flipside of that rapturous love affair, the punishment for carrying it out? Or is this a man in love with power realizing the price one has to pay for victory? It’s a curious little poem, perhaps just a footnote among the songs that tower above it, but definitely an interesting, meditative break at the album's midpoint.

Yes
There we were dying of frustration,
Saying, "Lord lead me not into temptation"
But it's not easy when she turns you on
Sin, stay gone...
Despite the exotic, Eastern-tinged strings that weave in and out of this song, it's a moody, almost jarring change of pace for Coldplay, with its grumbling guitar ruminations, its restlessly shifting rhythm that seems to skip a beat whenever it feels like it, and Chris Martin intentionally singing in the lowest register he can muster during the brooding verses. This is the sound of a man beaten into submission by temptation - a man who knows the price he continually pays for continuing to buy into the lie he knows has been sold to him, but who can't resist the urge for just one more fix. The more he gives in, the more isolated he becomes, despite the companionship of his proverbial temptress: “God knows she won't let me rest, but I'm just so tired of this loneliness."

Chinese Sleep Chant
Track #6 is the second track to contain two songs, and this time the second song isn't listed. It very suddenly picks up with its muddy, grinding electric guitar riff at the close of "Yes", playing mostly as an instrumental track, but with Martin's voice calling out from the background, as if trapped behind the other translucent layers of sound. Normally this sort of production, which intentionally obscures the vocals, would annoy the hell out of me, because I figure if you're going to bother singing something, you should sing it in a way that we can at least understand what words you're singing (whether we get the meaning is a whole other issue). Here, I don't mind so much, because the song depicts a hypnotic state, and what I can make out of the repeating mantra seems to be saying, "Fall asleep, sleep satisfied" over and over again. What makes this track work is that it has a beautiful radiance against all odds - the hazy production values can't overcome the golden heights that the layered guitars seem to be reaching for. On the song "Speed of Sound", Coldplay sang of "Japan and China, all lit up", but on this album, they're actually showing us this instead of just mentioning it.

Viva la Vida
Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh, who would ever want to be king?
The first of two title tracks is up next - it's the kind of song that grabs the attention immediately with its staccato strings providing the main hook, and its soaring melodies as the lyrics tell a lonely tale of a dictator looking back on his glory days, asking if salvation can still be found after he's turned his own country inside out and his subjects want him dead for it. (At least, that's what I think it's about. Don't tell Chris Martin I made this assumption, or he'll get all p!ssy and storm out of the room without answering any more of your questions.) What's neat is how this song is such an obvious single, with its larger-than-life chorus about Jerusalem bells and Roman choirs and missionaries and all sorts of heroic voices ringing out, and yet it never seems to have that obvious moment where it "kicks in" - as much as I love Will Champion's drums, they're noticeably replaced by an uncaring electronic thump that keeps time for most of the song, and yet there's so much lovely instrumentation to fill the space that the song is propelled along just fine without them. (I think he might be doing some cymbal crashes and stuff to add to the drama, but there's little traditional percussion as far as I can tell.) It's also got a deceptively happy sound for a song that is essentially about a person wondering if they've done too much evil to ever truly be saved. "I know Saint Peter won't call my name", Martin surmises. And that sure is a harrowing line for a song that's being presented to us in vibrant colors in an iPod commercial. No matter. I'm completely smitten by the song in all of its mixed-up emotions.

Violet Hill
Was a long and dark December, when the banks became cathedrals
And the fog became God
Priests clutched onto bibles, hollowed out to fit their rifles
And the cross was held aloft...
Those not accustomed to Coldplay's moodier side have likely already been taken aback by this upstart radio single, which seeks to warp the Coldplay you once knew and loved into a stomping, pouty beast with its constant pound, pound, pound on the piano and drums and its low growl of a guitar riff that keeps tumbling headlong back into the one-note bog. If that sounds like a diss, it's not - I love the hell out of this song too, but it was definitely a gutsy choice for a lead single. It tells of a "long and dark December" during which an ugly revolution takes place - injustice replaces freedom, fanatical zealotry replaces genuine religious faith, love becomes cold indifference. Once again, we've got low, moody vocals from Chris Martin and another zinger of a guitar solo from Jonny Buckland - it's not like the solos he plays are all that technically stunning, but he seems to take an economical approach that puts just the right exclamation point on each song. The humanity pops out during the brief refrain - "If you love me, won't you let me know?", which later turns into a lament, "If you love me, why'd you let me go?" The song finally collapses into a quiet, reflective bridge with just the piano and Martin's voice - you expect that to be the bridge and a final buildup to occur after he and his lover, perhaps the last person on Earth he can still see some humanity in, sit atop that snowy hill and try to resist that urge to give in and harden their hearts. But the refrain is just a pale reflection at this point - the pounding, menacing tone of the song does not return. The music breathes a silent sigh of relief and departs for sunnier territory.

Strawberry Swing
People moving all the time
Inside a perfectly straight line
Don't you wanna just curve away
When it's such a perfect day...
Now you might think I've laid some really off-kilter analogies on you during the course of this review, but this is going to perhaps be the nerdiest of them all, so brace yourselves. This song begins with the distant echo of handclaps, almost as if heard through a tunnel, while the gentle, wispy cry of an electric guitar seems to almost be expanding out of itself fractally. (You were warned.) It's at once breathtaking and unbelievably quaint - here's a band that suddenly learned to wring an avalanche of living, breathing beauty out of whatever filters and computer programs and newfangled studio equipment they had to run that sound through to make it what it is. Out of it comes the perfect summer song, perfect for lazy days spent reclining and sipping lemonade with someone you loved. After all of the odd soundscapes they've put us through, Coldplay has earned this (relatively) simple, fluffy moment in the sun. An album full of sentiments like "It's such a perfect day" and "The sky could be blue, I don't mind, without you it's a waste of time" would probably make me want to hurl, but this single, un-ironic moment of romantic bliss breaking through the haze comes across as a total Godsend. More organic instrumentation slowly worms its way into the song, most notably the clean strum of an acoustic guitar during the bridge, but for the most part, it's a delicate piece of studio craft that I'm eager to find out how they'd ever manage to reproduce live.

Death and All of His Friends
No, I don't wanna battle from beginning to end
I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge
I don't wanna follow Death and all his friends...
Title track #2 poses itself as the "official" end of the album, starting off rather abruptly as a lone ballad for piano and voice, before pulling off a metamorphosis similar to that of "42", as the electric guitar breaks away from the simplicity, using its own repeating melody to create an upbeat rhythmic framework that the rest of the band follows, eventually cascading into one last soaring bridge, which another one of those shifting rhythms that seems to fall all over itself and yet has a beautifully awkward character all its own. It becomes the backdrop for a rousing chorus that stares war and death and revenge in the face and says, "No, I'm not gonna fall for that crap again". It's the final spit in the face of the reaper himself, the last respects paid to those who ended up in a London cemetery too soon, the expression of regret from the dictator who nearly blew his own homeland to smithereens. No more blaming it on a rush of blood to the head - this song's jubilant climax and modest fadeout effectively put down the gun and end the war.

The Escapist
And in the end, we lie awake
And we dream of making our escape...
At long last, the glitzy, synthesized intro of "Life in Technicolor" comes back around, completing our journey as Chris Martin softly sings of his escape from the violent cycle. Now I'm no Beatles scholar, but this simple, repeated line has a certain cadence and rhythm to it that reminds me very much of these words of wisdom: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Take that for whatever it's worth.

I'm sure there's a lot more meaning to be mined from the lyrics and aural paintings among Viva la Vida's tracks (or at least, a lot of stories to be made up by those with overactive imaginations), but at least the little bit that I've found and the weird tangents it's triggered in my mind oughta tell you that this is a pretty spectacular piece of work for Coldplay. Regular, polite Britpop doesn't do this for me. Most middle-of-the-road radio singles don't do this for me. Plenty of songs from Coldplay's past have not done this for me. That's really the best evidence I can offer to make you want to investigate Viva la Vida for yourself, if you haven't done so already. It fires up the imagination and leaves an array of emotional responses in its wake. If an album can do that and be listenable on a simple, "hey, that's pretty catchy in an unexpected way" sort of level, then hell yeah, it totally gets five stars from me.

Sydney_Mike

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #68 on: January 22, 2009, 01:22:46 AM »
I'm no teenager, but my attention span isn't long enough to handle reading the latest from Bono in Bonolands. Is there an executive summary somewhere ;)

Offline soloyan

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2009, 01:42:03 AM »
It's a musical journey... ;)

Offline Bono in Bonolands

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2009, 03:25:13 AM »

See ColdPlay fans have no problem appreciating U2. Why can't we reciprocate and all get along. Viva is a wonderfull song. And ColdPlay are an extraordinary band.

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Else Chris Martin has a message for U2 fans who don't appreciate his music.

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« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 03:26:53 AM by Bono in Bonolands »

Offline miami

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #71 on: January 22, 2009, 08:05:16 AM »
i have to say viva la vida is a great album, with only a couple of filers on it. a lot of this, though, is down to the influence of brian eno. he should have got a writing credit for it. his influnce permeates the whole album, the strings and keyboard elements are really to the fore. just like many u2 albums, i have to say!

coldplay must get great credit for this release, i hope u2 surpass it though. chris martin definitely does think he is bono. just look at the way he acts on stage on this tour. check out viva la vida live on any youtube video.

Offline emalvick

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #72 on: January 22, 2009, 08:55:25 AM »
I don't think U2 fans have a hard time respecting Coldplay, I just think they have a hard time comparing U2 to Coldplay.  As many have stated and I'll repeat, Coldplay are only 4 albums into their career.  They have not shown the innovation yet that U2 have shown time and again and I am just not convinced that Coldplay will be as popular as they are now 4 more albums down the road.

If you think about it, U2 were on their 4th album (not counting the live album) when they made their first big change, The Unforgettable Fire.  Coldplay tried to do the same even going with Brian Eno as U2 did.  The difference is that if Coldplay tried to throw out everything that made a typical Coldplay song, they didn't do a great job of it.  That isn't a criticism of Coldplay's style, it's just that I don't find the new album to sound all that different from previous Coldplay albums.  This is both good and bad.  It is bad in that I don't here much of an evolution to their sound but good in that I don't mind their sound in the first place.

The problem with making the comparisons being made in this thread is that the times have changed.  The one thing Coldplay has to content with is the fact that the era of the album is ending.  With the IPod generation, the single rules.  People also have less patience and with many artists focusing on singles or spending years to complete a decent album, it will become rare for groups to put out great albums time after time.  U2 can still do it because they had great momentum going into this IPod age.  People bring up Radiohead because they tend to come out with consistent albums.  Coldplay has remained consistent.  A few others are doing ok, but the quantity of quality recordings has dwindled quite a bit from what was available in the earlier part of this decade, and all the previous decades. 

And just to finish with a bit on Radiohead.  I don't think anyone will compare Radiohead as another U2.  I think there are just similar aspects to both bands namely the experimentation.  Never-the-less, Radiohead does exceed U2 and most bands on that front.  At the same time Radiohead is not a big band in the sense of U2 or Coldplay because Thom Yorke doesn't have a need to be.  Heck the transition from Pablo Honey and Creep to the Bends and OK Computer was a result of Thom Yorke not wanting to be 1. A One Hit Wonder and 2. Not being in the mainstream.  This is completely in contrast to both U2 and Coldplay.

If anyone could make an analogy, it would be that Radiohead is to U2 as Pink Floyd was to the Beatles.  They are all great bands but only the latter half of the pairs was really popular and mainstream while the front half was probably a bit more experimental (although all four bands were quite experimental when compared to everything else). 

Never-the-less, looking to the future, if Coldplay is going to get to the top or stay at the top if they are in fact there, they are going to have to quite chasing U2 whom really are on the downslope of their career and chase or stay ahead of their contemporaries.  If U2 have shown anything smart with the new single, its that there is an obvious inspiration / influence from Jack White.  That is impressive, even if it isn't too successful (although I think it is pretty good). 

It will be interesting to see how the Grammy's turn out.  Will Coldplay win?  I don't know... I do know that they are competing against Radiohead, so that could be interesting... In Rainbows qualifies because the Grammy year runs from October to October.  I think In Rainbows was definitely a fantastic album, but definitely not mainstream.


Offline Nielsen

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #73 on: January 22, 2009, 10:37:15 AM »
Lets be honest here: I would prefer Coldplay over the current garbage on the radio. Sure he too, can morph into a 1/2 Bono but at least he sings about things that channel emotions. (Prepares to take a beating) Coldplay have potential to take me somewhere emotionally like U2 has done now and before - in fact throughout the U2 drought I've been listening to Coldplay a lot because there isn't another antidote out there for today's senseless music.

Offline TraKianLite/Zooropa

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Re: The official U2 Vs. COLPLAY thread
« Reply #74 on: January 22, 2009, 11:15:35 AM »
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I think In Rainbows was definitely a fantastic album, but definitely not mainstream.

Actually, I thought it was Radiohead stepping into bland Adult Contemporary and as a result it was their worst album yet. But it's true that Radiohead have never quite had the same attitude towards commercial success as U2 or Coldplay, and if anything, that's something they have over the latter bands, and something U2 has over Coldplay. U2 have been willing to disregard the mainstream - in a certain sense, this was the case with Rattle and Hum, which had absolutely nothing to do with acid house, hair metal or cheesy power ballads (luckily), and also with Zooropa. For some bizarre reason they thought Pop was worth storming the charts with, and whilst electronic music generally was kind-of mainstream in late 1990s Europe, it wasn't in any way in the US, which has historically struggled with any music not emanating from instruments carved from wood (even hip-hop and R&B didn't become huge until the 2000s), so the surprise at getting just the one platinum disc is odd.

Overall, what I'm essentially saying is that U2 doesn't have to be the biggest band in the world, and I hope they realise this. In this modern age the real issue for musicians is ever more divisive niches, which isn't a major issue for U2, because they've always had a certain cult following anyway (see, for example, how Joshua Tree went platinum in just over a day in the UK, but produced no No. 1 singles). Stadium-band size only requires album sales in the mid-7 figures, too. I'm not asking U2 to start drawing on John Cage as an influence, or do renditions of Stockhausen's "Gesang Der Junglinge" live or anything, but I'd say that if U2 could improve as a band, they could do so by taking Bono's statement at the start of this decade - that of aiming for biggest and best band in the world - and focusing primarily on the latter.