Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Coldplay X & Y

Coldplay seems to have a knack for delivering sweeping musical lines and lyrical hooks that you keep humming in your head, and their X & Y album certainly doesn't stray from that. Each track, even from the beginning with "Square One" just captures your attention, if only for the first time that you hear it. It feels, however, to be a sad album in comparisson to their once wildly popular A Rush of Blood To The Head album, which was upbeat in contrast. But despite this feeling, the album is actually about hoping, fixing, and dreaming of a better tomorrow. Ironic, but still inspiring.

Each song until the last quarter of the album has a very similar shaping to its sound. The first nine or so songs start out in the same manner, which is very slow and sort of quiet. But about a little under a minute into each song, the beat picks up and starts an ascention in the volume of the voices, guitars, and bass, along with more presence from the percussion. Towards the end of these pieces it slows down. The best thing to compare this to is the bell curve, with the curve actually being pretty close to the end. The piece most noted for this is "Fix You" which was played almost incessantly on the radio, thus almost spoiling the pseudo-supernaturalism of this song. Few works of music out in the modern musical world can invoke such emotion and thoughts. Mega props to songwriter and singer Chris Martin for this song, for if he can produce songs like this, it is a true attest to the talent and quality of Coldplay. If one were to speculate, this song at its climax would have killed in the ending of The Notebook, causing more boxes of tissues to be used than in cinema history. "Fix You" is an odd combination of sadness, happiness, and pure beauty, and can't be equally compared to the rest of the songs, but something like "Talk," with its timeless, tireless quality, is something to be admired.

There are some songs that people would call filler, such as "What If?" "X & Y" and "Twisted Logic" but these are hardly that. "X & Y," the inspirational piece to the album, is almost ethereal in its mood-altering substance. This is the kind of song to which a person would just lay down on a bed and take it, closing their eyes and feeling themselves "floating on a tidal wave" or "drifting into outer space" as the song goes. "Speed Of Sound" is truly a "feel good" song that makes you want to sing along almost every time you listen to it.

Coldplay's uniformity in their pieces spanning all their albums is truly remarkable. Even Weezer, with their five albums, wasn't able to maintain a uniformity amongst their songs, hence the ever-present question "do you like old Weezer or new Weezer?" Coldplay fits not at all into such a category. And it is in this uniformity that qualifies this wonderful group for a sort of timelessness, sort of like it will be something that the current generation will still be listening to well into their sixties, assuming the radio stations don't pull on them what they did to The Killers. In my humble opinion, I think Coldplay X & Y is definitely worth the $14, and I look forward to the upcoming albums.


At 9/03/2006 11:38 PM, Blogger Ferdinand_The_Bull_Smells_Flowers said...

Coldplay seems to have a knack for delivering sweeping musical lines and lyrical hooks that you keep humming in your head

True, true.

Your wording is effective and easy to read. You did a great job at going through the songs on the album. If I did not know the music, I think I would get an idea of it from your descriptions.


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