Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Progressing, Stagnating, Or Selling Out: What Did Coldplay DO?

Disclaimer: I’m a HUGE Coldplay fan, I still love Maroon 5, and although it doesn’t sound like it, I actually adore Owl City.

Forget the critics, forget the general public, forget reviewers from publications such as NME, who like nothing better than to take everyone but a select few down a few notches…it seems that sometimes the most scathing of words can come from a band’s very own, hopelessly devoted fans. Some fans seem to think that they have some kind of control over bands, that their opinions are the only valid ones, and that bands should never change styles.

Chart-toppers, Coldplay recently released the second single from their upcoming album ‘Mylo Xyloto’, and the song seems to have had what can only be described as a polarizing effect on fans: you either love it or hate it, there’s no in between. The song, ‘Paradise’ is apparently the first sign of the band selling out, in other words starting to make music that may produce great sales, but isn’t that of the Coldplay that their fans know and love. But surely no one was expecting the band to release something along the lines of ‘The Scientist: Part ii’ ? It is perfectly normal for a band to move forward and to experiment with new and different sounds for each of their albums. If they don’t they risk becoming boring, stagnant, and thus their album sales are sure to plummet, they will fade into obscurity, and in a few years time, nobody will even remember that they existed. Imagine if this happened to Coldplay. Surely this idea is more horrifying than anything else? I offer Owl City as an example of an artist not progressing. Adam Young’s project’s latest album ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ is packed with catchy tunes, and cute songs that are fun to sing along to, but they’re almost indistinguishable from previous album ‘Ocean Eyes’ and indeed from songs on Owl City’s first two albums, ‘Of June’ and ‘Maybe I’m Dreaming’. I mean, how much longer can Adam continue to write songs about the sea, plants, beaches, and dreaming, without it becoming boring? Especially if he doesn’t even change up his beats a bit.

There is, however, a fine line between progressing and in fact selling out. Maroon 5 were one of my favourite bands for about six years, but in my own humble opinion, they have sold out and gone commercial, and I’m not impressed. In the case of Coldplay, even though they are developing, their new songs are still identifiable as ‘Coldplay songs’. The end of ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ could practically be the beginning of ‘In My Place’, and there’s no denying that only Coldplay would come up with some of the lyrics found in ‘Paradise’, such as “the wheel breaks the butterfly”. Add that to the fact that they’re still into the “oooo-ooooo-ooooo” ‘s, and one realizes that fans have absolutely nothing to worry about at all. Maroon 5, on the other hand, have left all semblances of those jazzy vibes I loved so much behind, and replaced them with dance tunes. Sigh, there I go, being one of those controlling fans that I dislike so much. You just can’t win, can you?

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