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Coldplay, 2005, EMI/Capitol
Rating: * out of four
Lyric Grab:
"You really broke my heart, oh
And I tried to sing
But I couldn't think of anything
And that was the hardest part of all"

Why is writing about Coldplay so complicated? Because I liked them a lot once, and now I don't, and I can't participate in the current semi-deserved backlash without sounding like a pretentious jerk. It's as if I used to be in a ska band (Let's be honest here, I was a high school hanger-on for bands that aspired to have the talent to be able to play ska - so my claim to inegrity is as flimsy as Coldplay's stated effort to be "better than Mozart").

So, in my attempt to stay true to my original assessment of Coldplay via "Parachutes", I wanted to like this album. I really did. But it's not very good. I listened to it while reading in bed, which was when I most enjoyed "Parachutes" - and this might be telling.

Unfortunately, what I least liked about Coldplay has only gotten worse: the lyrics. God, they're awful. The lyric grab above is from the song I like. It comes down to Coldplay's worth as a pop band, because clearly that's what they want to be. They don't care if I like them or not, because they think (with some reason) that people like me are music snobs, and if we don't like them, well, they're not trying to please the critics. And, honestly, that's fine - they want to be universal, we all want to make that connection where a rock song speaks to you, right?

What's wrong is that dumb lyrics aren't necessarily universal - or is that lyrics don't need to be dumb to be universal. I could identify more with "The spies came out of the water" - which probably means nothing, or something so inside, my take on it is irrelevant - than I can with the puppy-dogs-and-ice-cream crap on this record.

Also, only one song is less than 4:00 long. It's 3:58. That is not pop songwriting.

Sorry Coldplay. We want to like you, and you desperately want us to like you. Why can't we meet somewhere in the middle?

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