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Old 07-15-2017, 04:04 PM   #681
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If you want old, Coldplay gives a schpeel about the 90s before they play Don't Panic. Das old.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:35 PM   #682
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If you want old, Coldplay gives a schpeel about the 90s before they play Don't Panic. Das old.
The 90s were the golden era of music!
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:01 AM   #683
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Coldplay's production is the best in the world IMO.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:26 AM   #684
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Because Coldplay switches producers so often, it really depends on the album. Parachutes is perfect and Rush of Blood sounds really good, but X&Y overdoes it on the reverb in order to capture that arena rock hugeness. It doesn't sound horrible, but everything is kind of a dull wash. Meanwhile, Eno did a masterful job with Viva La Vida because of course he did.

Mylo Xyloto's production where things started going downhill. That album is sterile, brickwalled garbage. Hurts Like Heaven in particular is HTDAAB-level bad. Just compare Yellow to Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall; all of the space in the mixing is gone and it physically hurts to listen to beyond a fairly low volume because the mastering job was botched. Ghost Stories, on the other hand, sounded pretty good because they weren't overdubbing the hell out of everything and at least tried to give the album atmosphere, but it's a little impersonal sounding for what it is. I don't have much to say about Head Full of Dreams; it's pop industry standard, optimized for radio, and lacks personality.

Their two worst sounding records don't have "Coldplay" listed as a production credit, so that says something right there. Now, they aren't credited on Viva La Vida either, but Eno wasn't about to let that thing leave the studio not sounding great. In general, I think it's for the worse that two of their last three albums were handed off to pop producers.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:40 AM   #685
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Oh I appreciate their music production, but I was actually referring to the show production. The live setup is fantastic. It makes you like songs like that silly chainsmokers song.

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Just some of my favorites off my camera.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:46 AM   #686
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There was a gap of like 12 hours between those two posts so I thought you had changed subjects. Oh well!
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:26 AM   #687
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There was a gap of like 12 hours between those two posts so I thought you had changed subjects. Oh well!


12 hours is roughly the difference between sleep and waking up and looking at photos on a Sunday morning, no?
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:36 AM   #688
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Oh and if anybody is curious - Coldplay were recording live from Paris. Hence multiple shows.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:09 PM   #689
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Omg, they r copying U2 again!!!!
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:17 PM   #690
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Oh and if anybody is curious - Coldplay were recording live from Paris. Hence multiple shows.
Didn't they have a live Paris show a few years back?

They do look like they absolutely own the stadium shows, would love to see one.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:58 PM   #691
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Omg, they r copying U2 again!!!!
U2 invented Paris
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:10 PM   #692
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Just listened to this. All I Can Think About Is You and Aliens are absolutely gorgeous, the latter perhaps the most. I liked Hypnotised when it came out, but did not expect to get two such good songs on this EP. Not surprising that Brian Eno was involved on Aliens, this sound is what they should've transitioned to and what would've felt natural after VLV/MX. Instead we've gotten garbage, until now.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:03 PM   #693
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Coldplay Surpasses Madonna for No. 5 Highest Grossing Tour of All Time | Billboard

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._concert_tours

They now have the 5th highest grossing tour of all time. They still have a 20+ show North American leg beginning next week, which is a combination of stadiums and arenas. Then 5 stadium shows to close things out in Brazil and Argentina. They should easily beat out ACDC and Rogers Waters tours, and end up with the 3rd highest grossing tour of all time by the time they're done. If they wanted to make the commitment, they could add a bunch more shows and overtake the Stones #2 spot. U2's 360 record is unlikely to be broken anytime soon.
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:47 AM   #694
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https://twitter.com/fakebono/status/890416873451339779
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:45 AM   #695
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Apologies for the long post, but I like to write.

So...I've been on a Coldplay kick. I saw this thread on here a week ago and it dawned on me that I should catch up on these guys, 'cause I haven't been. Despite very much liking Viva La Vida, I just for some reason never kept up much after. I listened to Mylo Xyloto once years ago, I'm not sure I even finished it, and it wasn't doing it for me at the time. I barely remembered any of it beyond Paradise(obviously), and Paradise alone kind of put me off paying any real attention to what came after beyond titles and reception here on Interference. I guess I kind of checked out after that lone listen to MX. I saw the Superbowl performance and heard a little of A Sky Full Of Stars by accident, but that's it. I'd never listened to Ghost Stories or AHFOD until this week. So anyway, I went back the last few days and listened to all seven albums in order, including the last two for the first time. What follows are my thoughts(I'll try not go on too long).

Parachutes

I still like Parachutes a lot after all these years. It's an album that seems to take on more and more meaning the further away we get from it. They were still an 'Indie' band at this point, and it feels like it. There's a lack of pretension here. On more recent Coldplay albums, it sometimes feels like they feel like every song has to be a huge stadium-ready anthem. Here - and I've commented on this before - on stuff like Sparks, the title track, We Never Change, and even Everything's Not Lost, they employ a kind of musical subtlety that they arguably never would again, or at least not very often. Even the singles, with their big choruses, don't hit you over the head quite as hard as later singles would. Speaking of, the singles from this record are still hugely memorable.

Don't Panic is still one of my favorite Coldplay tracks. I fell in love with it when it was on the Garden State soundtrack. Such a simple lyric and simple musical structure and they make it sound so profound. Trouble has probably one of the most recognizable piano riffs in a pop song in the last 20 years, and is still a really solid song. Shiver is maybe the most underrated single the band ever put out; driven by an uncharacteristically aggressive(and memorable) guitar riff, it's just a great song. I don't love Yellow. I like it, it's fine, but I don't need to hear it a lot.

Sparks is relaxing as hell, a love song, but not nearly as saccharine as some future CP songs in that vein would be. Pretty gorgeous.

I dig Spies, it's got a pretty big vocal hook in the chorus and great guitar solo in the middle 8.

I love High Speed. A lot of energy, a great groove, catchy, kind of funky in the verses, and of those choruses that'll pop in your head sometimes and you won't remember immediately what it is...just a solid, solid track.

I like Everything's Not Lost as a closer. A nice, pretty melody to close things out, via a more restrained vocal take than you might be used to from CM.

A highly, highly memorable debut, and a somewhat poignant snapshot of Coldplay before they were "Coldplay".

A Rush Of Blood To The Head

It's the definitive Coldplay record. It's the one that made them superstars. It's the one that made the mainstream sit up and take notice. It's the one that placed on so many 'best albums of the 00s' lists. I remember the first time I heard In My Place and The Scientist, and then the whole album, and I remember thinking, 'wow, this album is going to be big'. And it was. World-beating singles, grammys, culture-permeating relevance, this thing launched them into the stratosphere of the music business, probably faster and sooner than they were expecting.

It's probably still my favorite, the one I reach for most often when I'm in the mood for Coldplay. The Singles are a bit played out, particularly The Scientist, but they're still classic, and I can still listen to Clocks and In My Place. Also, God Put A Smile Upon Your Face is probably the least well-known of the singles but it's one of the best they've ever put out. But it's a big mistake to think the singles are all there is here.

The opener, Politik, is still on my Coldplay rushmore, and it employs shifts in musical dynamic in a way the very few of their songs have before or since, and it excites me every time, despite being the rare Coldplay track that doesn't have a huge chorus. The final drawn-out keyboard climax is one of the band's great moments, period.

Daylight is a tremendous track, with its vaguely exotic strings, and the kind of big chorus that sounded effortless for them then but that they struggle to not make sound manufactured nowadays.

Warning Sign is a beautiful, melodic track about yearning for something you've lost. A Whisper has an atypically hard, aggressive chorus and atmospheric instrumentation that work brilliantly together, and that 'night turns to day' middle 8 is so gorgeous, it gets me every time.

The title track is one of CP's most criminally underappreciated tracks - it's one of CM's better lyrics, and that 'so I'm gonna buy a gun and start a war' pre-chorus is probably one of my favorite parts of the record, one of my favorite CP moments even, because it's so un-Coldplay sounding. Great, great song.

And of course, as everyone as said, Amsterdam is gorgeous. Probably one of their purest, prettiest melodies with no extra production needed.

I think it is one of the best albums of the 00s. And it put Coldplay in a place they weren't in before, commercially. But a record that huge is often a double-edged sword, in that gives much to the artist but also places a lot of pressure upon them. The singles set the template for CP going forward in terms of big, shiny, anthemic choruses, but the record is more than that. Stuff like Politik, God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, A Whisper, and the title track have a kind of grit that would become increasingly absent in their future work. I think CP would get caught up in trying to re-capture the stadium-ready essence of Clocks and The Scientist, but they would do it while leaving that grit behind too often.

I once wrote a long post about The Unforgettable Fire in EYKIW, and at the end of it I said something to the effect of, after that record U2 was never again so free of the weight and expectation of being U2. The same can be said here. Coldplay would never again be so free of the weight and expectation of being Coldplay.

X&Y

Ah, X&Y. I was a huge fan of AROBTTH, so I was looking forward to the follow-up. But from the moment I heard the opening keyboard riff of the first single, Speed Of Sound, my heart sunk. I listened to it, and it was like, 'oh, they want to make Clocks again instead of continuing their musical journey'. I gave the whole thing a chance, but it just came off to me the way a lot of people see it - as a bloated, brazen attempt to re-create AROBTTH and in doing so cement both their growing fanbase and their status as a mainstream act. I always look at what Coldplay did going from AROBTTH to X&Y, and compare it to what Radiohead did going from OKC to Kid A, and say that's the difference between the two bands in a nutshell(remember, people thought of Coldplay as a watered-down mainstream-friendly Radiohead in their early days).

It's not that there aren't a handful of good tracks here. I'd say about half of them are solid , some even great, tracks I'd still come back to - Talk(thanks, Kraftwerk, and yes, CM got permission), the title track, Speed Of Sound(they wanted to make Clocks again, but it's catchy in its own right), A Message, The Hardest Part, and Til Kingdom Come. A couple of others - Low, Square One, What If, White Shadows - are somewhat interesting but don't make me reach for them very often.

Someone much earlier in this thread said that AROBTTH is more than the sum of its parts, and I think that's fair to say - that album as a whole is an experience bigger than its collection of songs. I think X&Y is the opposite - less than the sum of its parts. Despite having six or seven good songs and a few other decent ones, as whole it feels stale and uninspired. Like a collection of AROBTTH outtakes. And it's hard to escape the feeling that the band were more concerned about commercial aspirations than creative ones at this point in time.

Plus I think I can point to Fix You as the exact moment when people started aggressively hating Coldplay. I don't hate it, but it's just...too much.

Viva La Vida

I think it's safe to say that all of us here on the blue crack have a great deal of admiration and respect for Brian Eno. The man is a legend, and for good reason. As a producer for other acts, he seems to have a midas touch. It seems that when an artist you like announces they're going to work with Eno on their next record, you get more excited than you already were for that next album. He's a unique figure in that everyone knows he doesn't actually like traditional pop music, and that when he works with artists or groups under the very wide umbrella of popular music, his m.o. is to push them beyond traditional pop structures and out of their comfort zones, to get them to paint pictures and create landscapes with their music and not think so much about verses and choruses. Because of this, he's often called in when an artist is actively wanting to be pushed out their comfort zone. Which is why it made perfect sense for Coldplay to want to work with him at this point in their career. I think they felt the criticism of X&Y and even agreed with it to a certain extent, and they wanted to come back with something that said 'we're not going to just keep duplicating AROBTTH'.

Well, Eno kept his streak going. Where X&Y felt, as a whole, stale, VLV felt fresh, like a new beginning. After the relative disappointment of X&Y, I remember just feeling happy listening to VLV for the first time. As is to be expected when working with Eno, there are fewer attempts at big stadium anthems here than on X&Y or even AROBTTH(the title track and maybe Lost, that's it, I think). These tracks aren't just songs built around pop hooks, they transport me somewhere. The increased atmospherics, emphasis on sonic experimentation, and relative lack of Martin's signature falsetto make this the least Coldplay-sounding Coldplay record, and that is a good thing, I think.

Highlights for me include Cemeteries Of London(that chorus melody is haunting, imo), that middle instrumental part of 42 that sounds like it could've been on Heroes, Yes, Chinese Sleep Chant(AKA the second part of Yes, it's hypnotizing), Violet Hill(has such a vaguely goth feeling to it, and such an aggressive chorus, short and to the point) , Strawberry Swing(so pretty), and the 'other' title track(Death And All His Friends). That big guitar riff in the latter...it's huge and shiny and lean and minimalist at the same time, and so catchy, and against the 'No, I don't wanna battle from beginning to end/I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge/I don't wanna follow death and all of his friends' chorus, one of my favorite CP lyrics, it's absolutely a career highlight, imo.

The title track suffers from being overplayed, but it's still classic, and better than just about any single they've released since. The strings in the studio version add a lot, imo. I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking it was miles better than any of the X&Y singles. I don't know if they meant to use a melody from a Satriani track - things like that can happen by accident - but I'll give him some credit if it makes some people feel better.

I'll say that Lost feels a little out of place, a little more straightforward than a lot of the album(besides VLV). It's not bad, but it feels like a bit of a harbinger of the poppier direction they'd take going forward.

All in all, the record is a triumph, a sign of new life after Coldplay Mach I had run its course after X&Y. It's a shame they didn't keep on in this direction.

Mylo Xyloto

So the first time I listened to MX, years ago, it really didn't do much for me, and I barely remembered any of it aside from Paradise going in this time, so it was like listening to it for the first time again. I have to give the band some credit for trying something new again with all the electronic production/atmospherics/soundscapes/embellishments, as that's something they hadn't done before. But as interesting and fun as all that is at times, it gets to be too much, it hits you over the head over and over and over. Some tracks feel like electronic backing tracks in search of a song. Some tracks feel like this production is being used to mask the fact that they're relatively formulaic CP tracks. More than anything, the production, while pretty and sugary and fun, is so in-your-face and used with such a lack of subtlety for the most part that I have a hard time listening to the album straight through. It gets to be too much. It's like the feeling when you eat too much candy and start feeling sick.

I don't pay too much attention to lyrics where CP is concerned, but seeing as this is a concept album, I feel I must. Again, I give them credit for trying something they hadn't done before, and particularly this, since doing a concept album is always risky to some degree. That said, I'm just not sure it worked. I'm just not sure Martin is a talented enough lyricist to pull off writing a narrative concept album that tells a single story over 14 tracks. What I can say with certainty is that I read the summary of the story on wikipedia and, if I hadn't, I would have utterly no idea what the story was about based on listening to the album alone. Still, I give them credit for at least having the ambition to try.

As for the songs themselves, it's not all bad. I like Us Against The World and Up In Flames for their stripped-back-ness relative to the rest of the album. Charlie Brown has kind of an infectious instrumental melody. Princess Of China is decent, I like the guitar riffs, although I'm not sure it was necessary for it to be a duet. Don't Let It Break Your Heart is decent, one of the tracks where the production seems to serve a song that exists underneath it rather than existing instead of a song.

But the best thing here by a mile is Major Minus. Because the guitar parts just do it for me. I mean, it sounds like Buckland is doing an Edge-circa-1991 imitation. It really sounds like Achtung era Edge. Which is probably why I like it so much. Especially the last minute when it's nothing but the guitar. I could do with a whole album of that(well, I guess I have it in Achtung). The one track here that I keep gravitating back to.

Some of the singles do nothing for me though. Paradise is obnoxious. Hurts Like Heaven is boring. Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall is also boring with little in the way of discernible melody. It picks up in its second half when Buckland sounds like a generic version of Edge-circa-1987. Obvious Shuttlecock influence there again, but imo not as interesting as in Major Minus.

It's really not as terrible as I thought it would be, but it's not something I'd listen to straight through, I don't think. A handful of tracks I'd come back to, and some pretty unmistakable production, which is more than I thought I'd say. It's an interesting juxtaposition on display here. It's like part of them wanted to make a My Bloody Valentine album and part of them wanted to make a safe anthemic Coldplay album and this was the result. It could grow on me, I suppose.

Ghost Stories

I'd never listened to anything from this until this week, save for a few seconds here and there of A Sky Full Of Stars. Recent CP gets so panned that I thought I'd hate it. Turns out I think it's the best of their last three outings. As opposed to its predecessor and successor, it's not trying so hard. It's quieter, more bare, and instead of the attempt at narrative storytelling on MX or the kind of desperation-for-universality of some of AHFOD, this is just a straightforward, genuine document of a man dealing with a breakup. It doesn't try to be anything more. It's a record of sparse arrangements, simple melodies, and earnest, straightforward lyrics, and it's kind of a relief after MX being so loud, so relentlessly in-your-face, to listen to this simpler, more meditative piece.

Favorite tracks include True Love(effective hook melody with 'lie, lie'), Midnight(one of the most esoteric things they've done), and O/Fly On(that quiet 'Fly On' refrain stays with me). Another's Arms is good too, and Magic is catchy.

A Sky Full Of Stars seems out of place, like it would've fit in more on AHFOD, but it restrains itself just enough to not sound completely ridiculous between Oceans and O/Fly On. I dig it well enough.

I like this record. Coldplay can tend to try to be too big and get too bloated and overbearing, so this was and is a nice change of pace.

A Head Full Of Dreams

It's not great, is it?

The title track sounds like an ATYCLB-era Shuttlecock outtake. I can't get into Birds at all. People shit on Hymn For The Weekend, but it's one of the few tracks here I actually like. It's undeniably catchy. I mean, it's all vocal hook, there's nothing else there, but it's a catchy enough vocal hook to carry the thing.

Everglow is pleasant enough, if not anything special or remotely original for CP, musically speaking. I like Fun, even if it's a bit too long and repetitive.

Adventure Of A Lifetime doesn't really do it for me. The only interesting thing is the final refrain of "If we've only got this life/this adventure oh then I' etc. It's a really nice melody, but then that's because it's basically the Beatles' It's Only Love. I don't know if CP did that on purpose, but it is what it is. I googled to make sure I wasn't hearing things and sure enough, a lot of other people heard it too.

Up&Up has a groove, it's catchy, it can probably get an arena going. I don't dislike it, but there's not much substance to it. It's a nice sounding, fairly meaningless chorus over and over again.

The fear with Coldplay was that they would always fall back on formula and sound too much like themselves. With this album, they're not really doing that any more than they did on MX, but they are straining so much to appeal to everyone, to the pop crowd, to the VMA crowd, to be universal, that they may not sound like themselves, but they don't sound like anything very interesting either save for a few tracks. I'll take Hymn and Fun and maybe Everglow, the rest is pretty forgettable.

Final ranking:

1. A Rush Of Blood To The Head
2. Viva La Vida
3. Parachutes
4. Ghost Story
5. Mylo Xyloto/X&Y(can't decide, both albums that I wouldn't want to listen to straight through but that both have a handful of quality tracks)
7. A Head Full Of Dreams

They're a good-but-not-great band who has made some great music. My overall impression is that they have a fairly limited musical palette and they're pretty reliant on producers to make them sound different from album to album.

There's rumblings they could be done after this album. I hope not. I hope they can rebound and finish with a bang instead of a whimper.

Thanks for reading. I didn't do so bad! I kept it fairly short on an album-by-album basis!
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Old 08-08-2017, 04:49 AM   #696
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Coldplay - LP7: A Head Full of Dreams

I enjoyed it great write up. I echo a lot of it.

I think that they are plagued by a sort of identity crisis, most evident from the fact that at the last gig that I went to, they played Sky Full of Stars twice, consecutively. I can't be arsed with that.

I think they endeavour to be like Radiohead, U2 or Arcade Fire, but keep getting sucked into being a big dumb pop band, with songs like Sky Full of Stars, Teardrop is a Waterfall and the Chainsmokers song. They fall into a trap of appeasing, or maybe CM just enjoys leaping about in explosions of confetti.

I've got plenty of time for MX and GS. Don't revisit them on a regular basis, but certainly appreciate their place in the catalogue, even if they fall well short of VLV and AROBTTH, but AHFOD is utterly awful. It's a poor man's MX, and MX isn't the kind of album you should make twice. Poorly executed and completely embarrassing.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:05 AM   #697
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Great band who fell apart after Viva La Vida. Hate them more with every passing day now, but they've got three albums absolutely stacked with fucking gorgeous songs and I'll always have those.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:02 AM   #698
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Great band who fell apart after Viva La Vida. Hate them more with every passing day now, but they've got three albums absolutely stacked with fucking gorgeous songs and I'll always have those.


Still hard for me to hate them. I do hate this last album. Ghost Stories as an album wasn't bad - just ugly with A Sky Full of Avicii.
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Old 08-08-2017, 04:32 PM   #699
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First off, awesome post/analysis. Really enjoyed reading your thoughts about the songs/albums here.

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Trouble has probably one of the most recognizable piano riffs in a pop song in the last 20 years, and is still a really solid song.
Man, every time I hear this song I immediately think back to my teen years, and the nights I'd have an area radio station on to listen to as I was going to bed. The station used to play this song sometimes, and it was always a peaceful thing to hear right before going to sleep. Songs like this and "In My Place" are the perfect examples of why I love Coldplay. I've just always thought their songs were pretty. And I'm a sucker for piano-heavy music. It's about as simple as that .

(As for "Spies", I just really love the eerie atmosphere of that song. I've got my own little made up music video of sorts that plays in my head every time I listen to it.)

"The Scientist" remains my favorite Coldplay song to this day. Another one I've loved since high school-I have fond memories when I listen to it. Same with "Clocks". I don't care how overplayed that song was back in the day, I still love it.

I agree with your picks of the best songs off of X&Y, and on the one hand I like and agree with your description of Mylo Xyloto as an overload of candy (that's actually a really perfect description), but on the other hand...well...I have a strong sweet tooth .

I'll also defend "Fix You" and "Paradise". I get why others don't like those songs, but I'm good with them, and there's something about the "lights will guide you home" line in "Fix You" that never fails to get me a bit choked up, so...I dunno. I like sap, I guess, LOL.

Viva La Vida was actually the first Coldplay album I brought. Up to that point I'd just liked the band's big singles. But after getting that album I went back and played catch up with their other albums. VLV remains my favorite Coldplay album. It's perfect and beautiful from start to finish, and I like the direction they were going with songs like "Yes" and "Violet Hill".

Wasn't big on Ghost Stories when I first heard that one, but I do remember warming to it a bit when I listened to it again a while back. Maybe time will continue to let it grow on me. I still haven't heard their latest album in full-I haven't minded the singles I've heard from it, in the sense they're catchy and whatnot, but yeah, based off those, I think intedomine is right that they sound like lesser MX tracks.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:45 PM   #700
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I'll also defend Fix You to the hilt. They made that song at a time when they were still good. It's one of the cheesiest things ever, and SO Coldplay, but it 100% works. You give that song to any other similar band and it would be awful, but Coldplay pull it off.

Really underrated Coldplay song: "Sparks".
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