Coldplay gets a lot of abuse from former fans for becoming too mainstream, or for becoming too conceptual and less enjoyable, or for Chris Martin becoming too Bono-like. I don’t know what Mylo Xyloto means, and I don’t care to, but I guess it’s supposed to be some kind of rock opera. Ok, fair enough.
But let’s not forget the incredibleness of their debut album, Parachutes. Four hit singles that still stand up almost 13 years later: Shiver, Yellow, Trouble, Don’t Panic. These are highly accessible songs – simple and unpretentious.
Apparently Chris Martin commented on how he hates the album and thinks it’s terrible. That’s a shame.
Two years later, they released A Rush of Blood to the Head, another great album. This one had a more produced sound and perhaps more commercial. But these songs were good, so why wouldn’t radio play them? Clocks, The Scientist, In My Place, the title track. They sounded as if they’d grown as a band, and their success followed.
Their third release X&Y loses a bit of personality and adds in more of an electronic sound. There are still some gems here, though. Even I often forget that. The album may mark the begin of the decline of Coldplay (but not their commercial success), and their confidence may have gotten in the way of the album being truly amazing, but it’s not one for the trash bin. Talk, Speed of Sound, A Message, The Hardest Part – all goodies.
Of course Coldplay are still one of the biggest bands in the English-speaking music world, and I don’t deny their success. I do think their earlier, less overdone sound was more genuine. We don’t need egos and costumes and rock operas to get the point – just honest music.