Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reflections on "Music for Bed Wetters"

I can still remember the time in high school when I first started to listen to Coldplay. I was exploring Brit-rock for the first time, not knowing that it would form the basis for much of my musical tastes, and my friend Foote and I jumped on board before Yellow quickly rose to infamy. I can remember enjoying their music because I would throw it on while working on art projects and would find myself inspired. It wasn't rock'n'roll, but it sure did resonate with a student who's most creative season was the dead of winter. The bareboned simplicity of tree branches in winter, or a simple, young chap walking down a beach were appealing. They weren't abbrasive - but rather simple reflections of a young man trying to discover truth and beauty. I was an art student, so I could appreciate that.

I've gone through phases of Coldplay appreciation since those days - digging A Rush of Blood to the Head (especially because I hyped myself up for it... and my girlfriend at the time dug it), despising X&Y because of its betrayal of so much of what their earlier music had meant, and somewhat embracing the group again after Viva la Vida. I am writing this post because I really did want to return to being a faithful fan of the group, but I just don't think I can. In listening to the cynicism toward capitalism and materialism in early B-Sides "Such a Rush" and "Bigger Stronger", and then viewing all the promotional crap that surrounds the last few albums, I lament the path the group has taken. They've become what the sung against. As catchy as some of their new tunes may be, I really feel like it lacks the heart that some of the earlier stuff did.

It was simple and honest in the beginning, and now it's self-righteous and messiah-like. So many parts of this new video made me cringe, in the same way I cringed when I saw them live over five years ago and Mr. Martin got a guitar tech to play guitar backstage for "Yellow" so that he could punch the air and gallivant on stage. Music was sacrificed for image. It's unfortunate really.

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