16 May 2014

MUSIC: X&Y


I know that many people cannot stand Coldplay. I don't wholly understand it, but I know it. These four blokes, however, are my one true musical passion. Sure, I like other artists and songs, but I don't think many can touch this British four-piece. On Monday 19 May, their sixth studio album, Ghost Stories is released to the world. I hope you don't mind me indulging a passion of mine (it is my site, after all!) as I look back at their first five albums in the build-up to this release, giving a (very!) brief overview of each track. And if you do, you can either express your displeasure in the comments (seriously, there's only ever been one - and that was me!) or alternatively you probably won't be reading anyway.

Moving on...


1. Square One [2/10]
Too over the top for me, and easily their weakest opener. I haven't listened to this in ages, thankfully.

2. What If [8/10]
A great song gets lumbered with a godawful title. I love the chorus and singalong section, and is a much stronger opening track.

3. White Shadows [8/10]
Just brilliant. Feels like a classic Coldplay track, complete with slow outro. Synths used to great effect.

4.Fix You [8/10]
A very moving and touching song that's been ruined for me by parodies. The finale is brilliant and I'm so glad this format was recreated for the following album. Hugely affecting live.

5. Talk [8.5/10]
Brilliantly '80s, I love this song. The first version (available on the internet) is equally good, but it's awesome when played live as the techno remix with God Put a Smile Upon Your Face.

6. X&Y [6.5/10]
I never used to like this, but now it's growing on me. Certainly one of the more thoughtful tracks.

7. Speed of Sound [9/10]
Many people liken this to Clocks, but for me, the two are diametric opposites; I love this. The guitar riff is particularly great, and it's one of Mr Buckland's many high points from this album.

8. A Message [8/10]
Another very Coldplay song, in a good way. Like the album as a whole, it doesn't really say much, but it's very listenable. In a way, it's like a more electric Green Eyes.

9. Low [8/10]
This is when album tracks began getting really good. This contains my favourite bit of music on the whole album, a jolly tinkling that conveys the whole message of the track for me (it begins at 2.02 if you're interested).

10. The Hardest Part [8/10]
Great, and very singable. Although it doesn't really get to a point, the journey's certainly enjoyable. The instrumental finale is superb. 

11. Swallowed in the Sea [9/10]
Just fantastic. Although the lyrics aren't quite there, the euphoric chorus gets me every time. I find it very moving, in the slow-but-upbeat way Coldplay do best.

12. Twisted Logic [1.5/10] (+ Til Kingdom Come [10/10])
Twisted Logic is a brilliant title wasted on a shit song. It meanders blandly, and is an instant skip for me. Til Kingdom Come, on the other hand, is phenomenal. It's one of my favourite songs, and has great lyrics. Clearly inspired by Ring of Fire (and written for the great man, prior to his passing) it's a great group song.



Average:
7.3/10

Top Three Tracks:
Til Kingdom Come, Speed of Sound, Swallowed in the Sea

Skip:
Square One, Twisted Logic

4 comments:

  1. This seemed to me to be the point where the hate really kicked in and, though I disagree, I can kind of see why.
    Though a natural enough progression from Rush it's not really all that different. It's too safe.
    Thank goodness they kicked things up a notch with Viva - still my favourite.

    On a side note, I have necer gotten in to the BF stuff but I love these music reviews Dave :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Although this has a fair number of decent songs, it's their worst 'album'. It doesn't flow, push the boundaries or really give any message. It's just a collection of songs in an order that doesn't really work. I totally agree with you re: Viva. It's astonishing, and we have Eno to thank for that.

      On a side note, have you seen the Zane Lowe / Chris Martin interview? Worth watching. I'd also recommend Ghost Stories.

      I'll consider more music reviews then. If anyone (not that these comments get read) has any suggestions, feel free to fire them over. You don't even need an account to post here!

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    2. No I haven't seen that yet, I'll look it up. Loved him on Howard Stern a few years back.

      Ghost stories is growing on me, I'm not hooked yet but that's usually a good thing for me. That moment when everything ckicks is always so satisfying.

      And a big thumbs up for Eno. Why hasn't he been knighted yet? He is a genius - even if he did try to destroy the master tape of Where The Streets Have No Name.

      Which brings me to U2, the first band that Eno really worked his magic on and a huge influence on Coldplay. I'd like yo see your take on their albums

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    3. I may look into that then. I'm really not familiar with their stuff at all, but people often compare modern bands with them. Good idea :)

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