My friends at work say that I have issues. They wonder why I am so passionate in my dislike of a band named Coldplay. I have no concrete reason for my disdain. I love music and my tastes are far ranging. I’d be ashamed to show you some of the stuff on my iPod. But hey, that’s what iPods are for right? It’s for hiding your deepest and darkest music secrets. OK, here’s what I think.
I think that Coldplay is unnecessary.
They don’t have very much to say yet they seem to be trying pretty hard to be heard. Their lead singer is married to a beautiful and very famous actress. I am not going to drag her into this conversation although I do question her judgment here. They have a child named Apple. I am sure that this is a beautiful child. I have nothing against kids named Apple. This isn’t about any actress, her questionable judgment, or a child named Apple.
This is about Coldplay.
I am trying to work out my Coldplay issues. I have to admit when the song “Yellow” hit the scene I was in to it. Out of nowhere my friends in the music business with great taste started telling me that they had found the next great band. I was swept up into the Coldplay-maina for a minute. Were they really the new Beatles? Could they possibly be as good as Radiohead? These are the things that were contemplated in music blogs, magazines, talk shows, entertainment news programs, and gossip columns everywhere.
I listened to the hype. I listened to the music. I watched their music videos. I read the articles in Rolling Stone, SPIN, and Entertainment Weekly. “These guys are amazing”, they all said.
As I listened to the music I started to feel a sense of blandness. I didn’t share my thoughts with my friends for fear of being ostracized. I worked at Starbucks in the music division. Coldplay was our biggest seller. How could all of those coffee lovers be wrong? Double non-fat latte and a Coldplay record. Are you kidding me? Does it get any better than that? Add in a scone and you in for one of the greatest days of your life. So, I kept my mouth shut and counted the money as the records sold. Hey, a guy has to get paid, right?
I kept my mouth shut and I listened. The machine marched on and this bland band became more and more in the public eye. More albums were released. Global concert tour. Sold out shows. Number one albums on the charts.
I ask myself, what am I missing? Is there anything original in this music. If I’m honest with my self I have to say no. Their songs all sound the same. They say nothing. The singer performs with the words “support free trade” written on his hand as if people care what he thinks. (Hey, look at me. I am trying to be Bono).
Here’s a newsflash for ya Mr. Coldplay. You guys have nothing to say. You are a blatant rip off of great bands like Radiohead. You make silly little songs that play it right down the middle. You take no risks. You are a formula. You are everything that is wrong with music and nothing about what is right with it. You take up too much of the spotlight when others artists are waiting in the wings with something meaningful to say.
I don’t like Coldplay. I know that chances are good that you might like them. I am open to the fact that maybe I’m wrong with my assessment. It’s not too late for me to change my mind although at this point the chances are fleeting. I am open for change.
So, I ask that Coldplay do us all a favor. You’ve had your fifteen minutes of fame. In fact, you’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy more than that. While you are still on stage, with everyone watching you, I ask that you do us just one small favor. Do something, sing something, stand for something original. Do something that will make people really take notice. Challenge us. Bring us to a new place with your music. Take a risk or two with your music. I know that you have something to say. So, say something. If you don’t plan to do so, please get the hell off the stage. We need originality in our music now more than ever. And, if you can’t be original then we really don’t need you.
Its not too late for you to become necessary.