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Old 06-02-2005, 09:43 AM   #1
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Rolling Stone Coldplay X&Y Review

thought you all might like to read this...



Coldplay

X&Y

*** (three stars)

Originally released: 2005
Capitol Records Inc.



Coldplay didn't seem destined for bigness. Their 2000 debut, Parachutes, was full of drizzly but pretty rock ballads that were almost memorable enough to prevent American listeners from confusing the band with Travis. Of course, that album also included a huge, soaring song called "Yellow," which may well be inspiring a drunken singalong in your local bar as you read this.

"Yellow" was a smash, but what came next was even smashier. In 2002, Coldplay released A Rush of Blood to the Head, which perfectly captured the heady feeling of a small band acting big. The band's sad-sack frontman, Chris Martin, transformed himself with so much swagger and so many hooks that even 50 Cent had to pay tribute, turning Martin's ambivalent lyric into a greasy boast: "God gave me style, God gave me grace." The rest of the band supplied Martin with propulsive rhythms, giving their newly pushy leader something to pull against, and the songs were even better; the band had mastered the art of writing graceful ballads that were both deceptively simple and fiendishly hard to dislodge from the human brain.

Since then, Martin has become a worldwide rock star, for better and for worse. He has a wife named Gwyneth and a baby named Apple, who just turned one, and who probably already knows what "paparazzi" means. On the other hand, Martin's newfound notoriety has meant more exposure for his favorite causes, such as fair trade. Compared to all the hubbub about Chris Martin the celebrity, his band's return to the American pop charts was a bit of a letdown. Coldplay began the campaign for X&Y with "Speed of Sound," an appealing but not thrilling song (it sounds a bit like Rush of Blood's "Clocks" but without the swagger). Whereas Rush of Blood was a nervy bid for bigness, X&Y is something less exciting. It's the serious sound of Martin trying to sing songs that match his stature. It's the sound of a blown-up band trying not to deflate.

Like the previous one, this album starts in outer space. Last time, there were those roiling piano chords of "Politik" and an audacious opening: "Look at Earth from outer space/Everyone must find a place." This time there's an atmospheric hum, and Martin murmurs, "The future's for discoverin'/The space in which we're travelin'." Drummer Will Champion enters with a tense rhythm, Guy Berryman adds one of those hurtling- forward bass lines, and Jonny Buckland doubles it with a skinny guitar line -- there's plenty to listen to, but not a lot to love. Luckily, this album contains its share of lovely ballads that sound, well, Coldplay-ish: Thanks to Keane and other imitators, Coldplay's name has become an adjective. One of the best is "Fix You," an unabashedly sentimental song where Martin delivers words of encouragement in a gentle falsetto. "Lights will guide you home/And ignite your bones/And I will try to fix you," he sings, proving once more that no band can deliver a stately rock ballad like this one. And although "Twisted Logic" may be an obvious Radiohead rip-off (with a title that sounds alarmingly Fred Durst-ish), the members find ways to build suspense while progressing toward that inevitable crashing climax.

Still, a surprising number of songs here just never take flight, from "The Hardest Part" (which actually gets less catchy as it goes along) to "A Message," which might actually be too Coldplay-ish: "My song is love," Martin announces, and you might find yourself wishing it weren't. Martin has talked about how hard he worked on this album, and it shows: Nothing on it sounds easy -- maybe 50 Cent made off with a little bit of his style and grace. X&Y does find ways to reward persistent listeners, especially those who make it all the way past the end to the bonus track, "Till Kingdom Come," which is the most casual thing on the album (it starts with Martin counting) and maybe the best. "I don't know which way I'm going/I don't know which way I've come," he sings, accompanied by little more than an acoustic guitar, and after what's come before, it's an unexpected delight to hear him sound so small again.

KELEFA SANNEH
(Posted juin 16, 2005)
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Old 06-02-2005, 09:47 AM   #2
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Yeah, I was not pleased with that review. However, they gave the new White Stripes 4 and a half.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:06 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot for the review.Kelefa hits the point totally.Looks like I am not the only one not impressed with X&Y.What I like the most however is "review" of the developement of Martin as a singer and a rock star.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:14 AM   #4
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anyone who could give X & Y a bad review either needs to clean their ears or fix their cd player.
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by mikal
anyone who could give X & Y a bad review either needs to clean their ears or fix their cd player.

I think the album is boring and more than a bit pretentious. Now I don't mind albums that are pretentious (Kid A), just don't be boring (Hail to the Thief). Even after several listens, this album doesn't do anything for me. The songs seem forced and contrived.

I think this review is pretty crap (rollingstone ) I don't see any need to attack the artist. Talk about the music.
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:05 PM   #6
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I always distrust reviews that can be boiled down to, "I liked the way they used to sound better". Very lazy thinking for a critic to engage in. For every genius album ever made, there are 10 reviews like this from people that just got scared off by a band making a change. Remember all the people scratching their head over Achtung, or 'The Fly' specifically ...

I haven't heard 'X&Y' yet, so I don't know if it is genius or not. But this kind of review is simply not helpful one way or the other.
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by mikal
anyone who could give X & Y a bad review either needs to clean their ears or fix their cd player.
true
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:18 PM   #8
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Rolling Stone's full of crap. I was looking at their review of Oasis and they said it was "a return to form" which is basically what they called their last record. They bashed the band then gave it four stars???? They basically rip apart Coldplay and then give it 3 stars (which equals "good") so they can eat turds. I'm getting it anyway!
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:30 PM   #9
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Rolling Sone rules
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Old 06-02-2005, 01:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by strannix

I haven't heard 'X&Y' yet, so I don't know if it is genius or not. But this kind of review is simply not helpful one way or the other.
Definitely NOT genius material here. Blender, Q magazine, Paste all gave it 5 stars, and I generally read those mags (not Blender, though), but had to disagree with them. I can't believe I actually am agreeing with a RS review. X&Y has a couple great tracks, but like the RS reviewer said: "a surprising number of songs here just never take flight". I also agreed with the AMG review, but it has since been taken off their website.
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Old 06-02-2005, 03:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by mikal
anyone who could give X & Y a bad review either needs to clean their ears or fix their cd player.
Guess I need an ear doctor and a repairman then...
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Old 06-02-2005, 05:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by the soul waits


Guess I need an ear doctor and a repairman then...
Same here.
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Old 06-02-2005, 05:51 PM   #13
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"coldplay is lifestyle music."
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:05 PM   #14
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"coldplay is lifestyle music."


I love Thom.
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Old 06-02-2005, 06:17 PM   #15
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Rolling Stone is 90% reprinted press releases, 5% good pictures of teen pop stars boobs, 5% worthwhile reading.

Having said that my feelings on Coldplay are pretty similar to that reviewers. I don't for a second doubt Chris Martin's intentions or sincerity, and that's a great start, but I think as a band they'll have to realise and accept that their music went to a very different place to what they probably intended it to, and it did so very, very quickly. It happened to them in hyperspeed, but if there's one bit of advice I think they should take off their heroes it would be this; "Achtung, Baby!", because they've reached that fork in the road. Way quicker than U2 did, but it's the same thing. 'Coldplay' became so overplayed, so over copied, and so the anthem for the otherwise bland so quickly (none of which is their fault) that they have to shift quickly if they are to be what I believe they want to be.

I've been fortunate enough to be able to spend a bit of time with the band (circa Parachutes, pre hugeness), and they are all great guys, and Chris Martin is a wide eyed dreamer who wants the biggest and best for his band for all the most honest and right reasons. I think it's unfair that Coldplay get the bagging that they get. He is a great songwriter, they are a very good band, but they've gotten themselves stuck in a corner as something they really shouldn't be - as Zoomerang96 said - "lifestyle music". It's not entirely their fault that they are there, but they are, and the sooner they realise and fight their way out of that, the better. Kinda like the reviewer suggests, they are letting what has been built around them direct them, rather than directing what is built around them. That's the key for them at the moment.

They COULD be something really special, but they're not.
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