Tag Archives: Coldplay

Satriani Sues Coldplay

Guitar phenom Joe Satriani is suing Coldplay claiming the band’s single “Viva La Vida” ripped off his 2004 song “If I Could Fly.” This sort of thing happens a lot, especially if the defendant is a mega-selling powerhouse, but the similarities are compelling. A crafty Youtuber has combined the songs for you to hear for yourself and has apperently stoked the anger of Coldplay fans. Yes, they get angry when they’re not shopping at World Market.

Video: Did Coldplay copy Joe Satriani?

Via The NME.

Ten "Fiercest" British Frontmen Revealed

Jake has long bemoaned the fact that British singers all sound like pansies. [Specifically, English singers -ed.] It’s his main argument for abandoning a genre that once fueled his music collection and has led to hilarious arguments at countless bars with me and Loftus. But is the Old Man right?

MuchMusic has a list of the The 10 Fiercest British Frontmen Of The Past Decade and I gotta say, there’s a fair amount of dandy-ism on display and maybe only one dude I definitely wouldn’t fight in an alley (Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, who I am sure would fight dirty to protect his hair).

Seven sissies I could stomp and three dudes I would not fight after the jump.

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Coldplay – X&Y

ColdplayX&Y (Capitol)

While everybody was busy looking for rock’s dreaded Next Big Thing in all nooks and crannies, crowning new bands each week in dingy British clubs, it’s all too fitting that the nice guys might finish first in this instance. The band’s exponential rise to stardom thanks to A Rush of Blood to the Head, along with a well-timed celebrity marriage have placed the group on the tongue of just about every music mind in the world. And of course with that type of (over?)exposure, a bold line separates the believers and non-. Chris Martin’s claim that Coldplay wanted to follow Rush of Blood with “the greatest album of all-time” only served to fuel the fire between the two sides. So, it’s doubtful X&Y, regardless of your opinion of the band, will change your stance one way or the other. Let’s face it: you’ve all got an opinion on Coldplay, and that’s that.

Detractors, at least give the band this: they could’ve thrown together a third album of knock-off versions of “The Scientist” and gone to Home Depot for industrial rakes to pull in all the hardware come Grammy season. Instead, they’ve become insistent on changing their stigma as an above-average MOR band. Chris Martin still dabbles in that life-affirming parasympathetic lyricism, with the (cliche!) added specter of marriage, parenthood, and maturation. All of which would be nauseating if he weren’t so goddamn coy about it. His voice has continued to improve throughout the group’s career, and he’s as adept at singing in falsetto as he is in his normal register. This has become an advantage, since the band is suddenly a flagship, arena-ready guitar-rock band–possibly inspired by a tour of America’s larger amphitheaters.

“Modest” is a word now completely erased from the Coldplay vernacular, as all twelve tracks on X&Y (not including hidden track, “‘Til Kingdom Come”) surge and soar. Which makes all of the magazine covers, “Is Coldplay the Next U2?,” sadly relevant. There are comparisons to be found with U2, mainly in the album’s guitar work. But there are equal ties to Eno, The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Doves, the Madchester scene, and (yes) Radiohead.

The most striking similarity between U2 and Coldplay is that Bono sang with urgency and captured the hearts of a generation, gaining an intimate bond with their fans. And now, with the entire planet inducting U2 into martyrdom, the music media is looking for someone to hang the hat upon. Certainly, Martin is good at pulling the urgent “let’s kiss before the world ends” shtick that made U2 so universally adored. Even moreso now that guitars are rising and falling while cymbals and massive drums surround him.

One of the immediately noticeable things about X&Y is that it carries the flag of a lot of Britain’s great artists of the last 25 years. In the current context of popular music, X&Y is surprisingly cutting-edge, adapting a braver sonic front than the band’s previous material. If it weren’t for Martin’s voice there would be no ties to your grandpa’s Coldplay. The third album is edgier, finding common ground with the recent revival of post-modern Brit rock and angular harmonies. Behind the anthemic burst of the new Coldplay for the first time appears droning synths and faux-string crescendos. Though not a predominant influence the almost haunting presence of Brian Eno lingers, as the band has veiled this album with glacial atmospherics.

Not to say that this is the be-all-end-all of contemporary music. As a matter of fact, the band falls into some familiar holes–”Swallowed In The Sea” is particularly atrocious lyrically, even compared to Martin’s typically mediocre writing. And it actually takes X&Y a couple of tracks to begin to find its pace. Not to forget, you know, this isn’t the first good guitar record, and it won’t be the last. But Coldplay continues to establish the foundation of a solid career, and the few shortcomings on X&Y hardly detract from what is an exceptional album otherwise. It’s hard to fault a band when they make a concerted effort to evolve, and Coldplay continues to get better with age. Really, X&Y sees Chris Martin finally toying with an important concept–you can’t give voice to history if you speak in a whisper.

Out in the Cold

Money money moneyIt’s overcast in Chicago. It’s mid-Spring and you wake up each day wondering if it’s going to be the most beautiful day you’ve ever seen or the gray overcast and piss rain Coldplay’s Chris Martin walked through in his band’s video for their breakout single “Yellow.” For Chicago fans hoping to score a ticket to Coldplay’s rare club appearance at the Metro, the weather called for shortshrift.

I hate ticket brokers. I hate them so much that it led to a very short, but very serious battle over advertisers here at GLONO HQ. [We decided against it, for now. – ed.] I think ticket brokers are killing live music in America. We can debate the merits and shortfalls of Capitalism until Lenin returns, but what it boils down to for me is sheer greed and that has killed more good in this world than any other deadly sin.

Continue reading Out in the Cold

Coldplay – Live 2003

ColdplayLive 2003 CD & DVD (Capitol)

For anyone who ever doubted Coldplay’s musical authenticity, this CD/DVD combo is a firm “What were you thinking?!” slap across the face. As everyone else who was with Coldplay all along should know, Live 2003 represents the culmination of their career thus far and must not be overlooked.

Coldplay also released Live 2003 as a CD-only album, but the bonus DVD, which contains over 90 minutes of footage from Sydney, Australia’s Horden Pavilion as well as a tour documentary and song lyrics, is what makes this release so notable.

Besides featuring an additional five songs that aren’t on the CD – “Daylight,” “Trouble,” “Don’t Panic,” “The Scientist” and “Life is for Living” – the DVD’s cinematography is excellent and the visual quality stunning. Alternating between shots from the crowd and from the stage, the video not only places the viewer in the position of the fan, but also offers a VIP view of the entire concert experience. Throughout the show, the crisp live recording captures each instrument, including the vocals, at the utmost clarity and with calculated balance.

Although lead singer, guitarist and pianist Chris Martin gets the most face time, he deserves the attention. The video establishes him as an enigmatic frontman with an amiable yet intense personality and remarkable stage presence. His musicianship, as well as the rest of the bands’, is seemingly perfect within the Britpop/dream pop/rock confines that they operate. On both the album and the video, the group sounds very tight and rehearsed, yet also satisfyingly expansive. Arena rock can indeed be a passionate affair.

Both collections of songs feature a mixture of singles and deeper album cuts, as well as two unreleased songs – “Moses” and “One I Love.” Musically, the most invigorating moments come when they expand upon their style to a psychedelic, Pink Floyd-esque jam. Guitarist Jon Buckland fits into this mold perfectly with his occasional wailing, almost ambient single-note leads. Guy Berryman’s droning yet dynamic bass lines tend to carry the melodies and play well off of Martin’s vocals and the chunking rhythms laid down by drummer Will Champion.

The quieter moments, which often feature Martin alone with his piano and his fabulous voice, are unfortunately less enjoyable when mediated and were likely more stirring at the concert itself.

The album’s standout selections include “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” “Shiver” and “See You Soon.” The video also manages to breathe new life into the previously overplayed singles “Yellow,” “Clocks” and “The Scientist,” all of which are quite impressive in modified live form.

After only two studio LPs, the members of Coldplay have established themselves as world-class musicians. Live 2003 showcases all that they’ve been able to accomplish and would be a worthy purchase for just about any music or concert video appreciator, as it proves that moving, dramatic and heartfelt rock can still be done well and without cliché. Coldplay fans, you were right all along.

Also, check Johnny Loftus’ review of a Coldplay show from way back in February, 2001.

Starsailor: Enjoy the Silence (or Capitol will kill you)

StarsailorSilence is Easy, Starsailor’s sophomore release, is already the bee’s knees in their native UK. It’s slated for stateside release in late January, and that’s where things get a bit blimey. Starsailor’s 2002 debut Love is Here was a critical and Brit rock fan fave, but its graceful austerity and heartbreak was lost on most. Not so in 2004. Coldplay’s curious all-things-to-all-people mindwarp has everyone from little sisters to large animal veterinarians loving well-appointed mope rock from across the pond, and has made Capitol – the American pimp for both Coldplay and Starsailor – very happy. Hmm, the label muses in its corner office late one evening. Why not double our pleasure? And suddenly Silence is getting a publicity push to rival the 4forAll from Pizza Hut. (FHM, that paragon of music journalism, gave it 4½ stars.) Hey, it turns out pimpin’ is easy!

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Don’t Know Why – The 2003 Grammys

The Glorious Noise compound was alive with laughter after the 45th Annual Grammy Awards concluded last Sunday night. Sure, this year’s show featured numerous artists who made the big decision to actually sing, which is a real milestone, since it happens so rarely anymore. And performances from Eminem, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, James Taylor, and Yo Yo Ma were entertaining for different reasons. But in the end, it was just another howler of an award show, and it deserves to be eviscerated. Yes, of course it’s an easy target. But so is MTV’s John Norris. And you don’t see Glorious Noise making fun of that corpse-like fancypants, do you?

What follows then is a quick rundown of this year’s show. Fred Durst is in aggreeance with Glorious Noise that it sucked, and Peace is cool, or something.

Continue reading Don’t Know Why – The 2003 Grammys

ARE THE BRITISH COMING?

Coldplay and Starsailor make a case for intelligent music on the radio

Johnny Loftus

For a few years in the mid 90s, Oasis had its moment in the American sun. With the larger US pop audience becoming enamored of “Wonderwall”‘s balladry and the bottom-end stomp of “Supersonic,” it seemed like the group’s systematic takeover of the UK might launch them into the American consciousness as an assault team for its Brit Pop brethren to follow. But it didn’t take. Somehow, their unabashed reverence for the Beatles and T.Rex was labeled a bad thing, and their sparring partners in Blur were just too fey for a Hootie-fied US pop scene. Both groups have continued to create solid albums. But many Americans can only point to Liam and Noel’s loutish behavior when questioned about Oasis, and it has required his being turned into a cartoon for Blur’s Damon Albarn to finally receive larger recognition in The Colonies. The Verve’s sale of “Bittersweet Symphony” to Nike was likely the last gasp of The Great 90s British Invasion.

But lately, a slight change has been brewing in the playlists of Stupid Radio nationwide. Out of the space between Staind’s high school talent show bombast, the N’SYNCified rage of Linkin Park, and Creed’s moronic, self-righteous buggery rises the cracked falsetto of Coldplay’s Chris Martin, cooing softly over the plaintive keys of “Trouble.” In today’s rapid-fire radio formats, it’s amazing that anything slow is even played, especially if your name is not R Kelly or Brian McKnight. So the fact that Coldplay’s “Yellow” made such an impression on listeners that programmers would allow a few minutes of breathing room between their listless yapping is quite an achievement.

In fact, Coldplay has been nominated in not one, not two, but three Grammy categories: Best Rock Song for “Yellow” (up against U2 – TWICE! – for “Elevation” and “Walk On”); Best Rock Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocals for “Yellow”; and finally their Parachutes LP in the Best Alternative Music Album category. Are things coming up Brit again?

Some point to Martin’s vaguely Matthewsian vocal style as reason for Coldplay’s fame. But what about Jeff Buckley? The DMB fans scratch their well-groomed heads. Isn’t he that guy who drowned that Brad Pitt is going to make a biopic of? Well, yes. But he (and his father, Tim) are also a big influence on not only Chris Martin, but also his Northern Soul brothers in Travis’ Fran Healy and now Starsailor’s young James Walsh.

Riding the wave of recognition for well-appointed, moody rock music crested by Coldplay, Starsailor (another recipient of NME’s rendered-meaningless “Best Band Ever” tag) has quietly begun moving from the world of CMJ to the universe of MTV2 and a stage near you. Currently touring the US with dancefloor warhorses Charlatans UK, Walsh and his mates are defining themselves as another English group thoroughly wrapped up in the throaty dynamics and instrumental touches of the late Buckleys.

And it’s working. Love Is Here, Starsailor’s domestic debut, is lodged at 165 on the Billboard Top 200, and M2 is working them into an influential rotation that is already largely responsible for the popular recognition of Gorillaz, Jimmy Eat World, and even India.Arie.

While M2 – not to mention music directors at Stupid Radio everywhere – is still trumping the godawful moan-core in the hearts angry young bald men everywhere, it’s interesting to note the slight swing that Coldplay, Starsailor, and Travis are having on the minds and wallets of the larger record-buying public. With strong work in a similarly intelligent vein on the way from MoWax’s South, not to mention Richard Ashcroft’s forthcoming sophomore solo effort, Coldplay’s popularity might be the best thing to happen for UK music in America since the halcyon days of “Wonderwall.”

And best of all, none of these new guys have maladjusted relationships with their guitar-playing brothers.

JTL