What is so great about Coldplay?

I have been hearing Coldplay on the radio for years now. First it was “Yellow,” a song that I thought was whiny and boring. Then it was “The Scientist,” another song I thought was dreary, drawn-out, repetitive and boring (and played way too much.) Then there was “Clocks,” which was a little more upbeat but not terribly great, and too repetitive.

Most recently, I’m hearing a new song from Coldplay (I don’t know what it’s called, but the phrase “birds can fly at the speed of sound” is in it) which sounds a lot like Clocks, and today I heard yet another Coldplay song which was too indistinct for me to remember well.
Normally, I wouldn’t think a lot about this band; they’d just be yet another radio act I hear in the car or at the mall. I don’t care much for this kind of music, nor do I vehemently despise it (the way I do fratboy “guitar bands” like Jack Johnson or Howie Day - or Dave Matthew’s atrocious “American Baby.”) It just sounds like more bland radio music to me. (Right now the number one band on my playlist is Grandaddy, and I listen to a lot of MIDI and late-90’s video game music.)

Now I hear things being said like “Coldplay is the world’s biggest band” and “Coldplay’s new album, X+Y (or whatever it is) is the greatest album of all time” by people on the radio and on the internet. People are treating Coldplay like a worldwide megasensation the way the Beatles were. Is this really the case? Personally I don’t think they have what it takes, lyrically or musically, to even be in the same league as the Beatles. Why the hell are they so popular? Is it just because their singer is married to Gwenyth Paltrow and gave his kid a weird name? If that’s so, I fear for the future of music!

I’ve noticed the same thing, and I’m similarly in the dark about them. I could’ve sworn that “Clocks” (the only Coldplay song I’ve heard, to my knowledge), was an 80s song until my girlfriend recently corrected me. It’s an ok song, but not good enough for me to rush around searching for more.

I have a friend who was a diehard NIN fanatic until she discovered Coldplay maybe 2-3 years ago and that’s all she talks about now. I think she’s totally dropped NIN. I’ve heard similar “best band/album ever” and “Coldplay are the new Beatles” comments and they leave me perplexed.

I’ve also heard the same thing about The White Stripes, and I can only pick out one of their songs as well (I don’t know the name of it, but it has a catchy tune.)

This is coming from a guy (me) that considers himself a pretty big music fan with incredibly diverse taste.

Coldplay is getting compared to U2 a lot - there was a thread about that a while ago. I can see the similarity in that they both play big, open, emotional stadium rock, and seem to have some political views in common.

They were famous before the singer married Gwyneth Paltrow, so that has nothing to do with it. I think they’re okay but overrated, although Clocks is quite a song.

There is absolutely nothing great about Coldplay. They are just another in a long line of pre-fab over produced over hyped, focus grouped hacks. wait six months, there will be another group that comes along and is the “New” U2 or Radiohead, or whatever.
Safe Sappy music that won’t offend the average Clear Channel listener or their parents.
Pablum for the masses.

Whew. I feel so much better.

Well, you liked “Yellow” a helluva lot more than I did. I’d sooner listen to Lou Reed scraping amplified fingernails against a cheesegrater the length of the Atlantic City boardwalk.

Having said that, though, I admit to liking their basic sound, which is anything but. Polyrhythmic arpeggios, with some syncopated (yet controlled) rhythm section counterpoint? Yummy! At its best, it has an almost tinnabulation-like effect that I find mentally stimulating and emotionally soothing at the same time. Now, if they could just get a lead singer with some balls:smiley:

BTW, Argent Towers, is your name a partial reference to The Zombies? Now, that was a great band!

Uh… you’re right that they’re not the first band to be acclaimed in this manner, but they’re not a fabricated band as far as I know, and their first hit was five years ago. Like them or don’t; I’m not a big fan. Claims that they’ll blow over in a couple of months have already been disproven.

You’ve heard that there’s no accounting for taste? This is what it means.



I knew that all along, but I was distracted by these ringing noises in my ears…

[QUOTE=Argent Towers]
I listen to a lot of MIDI and late-90’s video game music.)

Huh? Video game music? I think I’d rather listen to Coldplay. :smiley:

Seriously, I think they are OK. They seem like they have a lot of potential to become a great band…but they sure aren’t there yet. They recently did a VH1 “Behind The Music” special and that was actually pretty interesting. I have to say I can probably appreciate their music a bit more now after having seen it.

I’ve never understood the allure of this band myself … it’s not that they’re bad, they’re just so boring. The epitome of a rock and roll bland.

Nope, it’s a level of Blast Corps - a great N64 game with great music. But the Zombies are still a great band.

You’ve probably just been listening to the wrong video game music. www.vgmusic.com is a good place to start - I recommend Streets of Rage 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog, for Sega Genesis, and the entire soundtracks to Final Fantasies VII and VIII. Listen to anything written by Nobuo Uematsu, then tell me you’d rather listen to Coldplay!!!

No no, that’s 3 Doors Down and Matchbox 20. :smiley:

I thought Coldplay’s first album was hit-and-miss, but I thought A Rush of Blood to the Head was wonderful. Sonically rich, soaring, melodic, all that. Coldplay is not a band that trades in catchy, rockin’ songs, but they did the “epic and soaring melodies” thing really well on that album. In that way, they were a lot like Radiohead around the time of The Bends though with a LOT less guitar. I’ve never understood the comparisons to U2, though I guess Coldplay does sound a bit like U2’s last couple albums.

But I just got X&Y and so far I’m thoroughly unimpressed. While the previous album had songs I really got caught up in and put me into an almost trance-like state, the new one just lulled me to sleep. However, that was after only one listen. My opinion may change over time, but I don’t see it changing enough to where I think it lives up to all these rave reviews it’s getting.

The new White Stripes album is in high rotation on the iPod, however. :slight_smile:

Oh, and Argent Towers, I’ve known other people who dig video game music, but realize it’s just not going to be for everyone. I dig music from some games, but more for the nostaliga trip than for the actual music.

It’s true that video game music isn’t for everyone. I (along with my best friend, who is also very into video game music) have a classical background and a preference for orchestrated, interweaving, overlapping lines of music. Since older VG music and MIDI needed to be composed - that is to say, the notes are there on the computer, written out, arranged and easily manipulated - certain musical themes frequently appear in this music that typically (though not always - listen to Grandaddy, for instance) do not appear in other types of music. Complex arpeggiated scales, all kinds of synth waves and interesting tone contrasts, and impossibly tight and fast rythmic lines pop up all the time in video game music and are not noticed by most people because they’re just playing the game and the music is background. However, upon further examination, a lot of video game music is, musically, very interesting.

Wow…Coldplay and Dave Matthews (with an honorable mention of U2).

Bands that I’d rather pound my nuts flat with a wooden hammer than listen to.

I think they peaked with A Rush of Blood to the Head. They sound like a post-*Joshua Tree * U2 tribute band. I made a best-of CD from their first two albums and some B-sides and was expecting to remake it to include some new songs, but after a few listens I don’t see the need.

I read recently that Coldplay plans to become “Bigger than U2” or the next U2 or words to that effect. I realize the need for marketing, but c’mon how about working to expanding your own sound, which was coming along nicely. We’ve seen this act before with Oasis and the only songs of theirs I like are the ones in which they aren’t revamping the Beatles, e.g. “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova”. BTW “X&Y” sounds like Coldplay’s tribute to Oasis’ tribute to the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” sound. Enough! If I want to hear U2 or the Beatles I’ll listen to…U2 and the Beatles.

P.S. Screw Dave Matthews. I tried to rip his/their/whatever new CD to my MP3 folder after buying it but gave up after battling the new anti-piracy format he’s signed on with. Screw it, his new stuff stinks and I needed a new beer coaster anyway. I won’t go into why this annoyed me so much in this post.

I think I’ll start a thread: Bands you gave up on after swearing you’d buy every album they’d release and why


R.E.M. - for “Shiny Happy People”
U2 - for just getting boring and repetetive after Achtung Baby
Dave Matthews - for being a greedy, paranoid prick
Coldplay - not there yet, but if they keep releasing re-hashed U2 songs, ferget 'em
Radiohead - yeah right :smiley: Best. Band. Ever. IMHO

Excellent description and I’m sure this is a large part of the appeal for most people, including myself. There are a number of other bands around with a vaguely similar sort of sound - I’m thinking of Keane and maybe Travis.

Make that a spiked meat tenderizer mallet and I’ll join you.
Whiny, dull, boring crap like that has just about put me off of listening to the radio anymore. Some of this new ‘rock’ I can just about enjoy, then some whiny asshole starts singing and f**ks it all up!

Prone to hyperbole, are we?

They’re not my favorite, but the worst thing I can say about the the band is they’re overplayed. That really isn’t their fault. Clocks is a great song.

I don’t think I’ve heard it on the radio, but it seems like Clocks is in every other movie or tv show I watch.

My girlfriend watches a lot of those reality and talking heads shows on MTV and VH1 while I’m in here on the computer and whenever that song comes on she’ll turn the volume up and make fun of me for liking it. This often happens more than once a day.