Coldplay - Mylo down

So, Tony announced, as we got down our second pints; 'Their use of R and B production doesn't sit too well with me.' I thought about his words as I went up to the bar to get the next round in. What does he mean; he doesn't think they should do it, or he doesn't like the results? Glib snobbery, or honest assessment?

I normally let Tony get away with murder when if comes to music (a bit like the Bay City Rollers did all those years ago, or Lady Gaga does today), he knows so much about it, but there are times when it's a man's duty to restrict his friend to a little bit of friendly GBH, lest the proposed critical murder backfire and turn into shot-in-the-foot suicide. And a crap one at that; the guy in so much of a hurry to get to the paracetemol, that he chokes to death on the pill bottle cap. Don't get me wrong, I think there are some causes truly worth falling on your sword for, but to be honest with you, I don't think Coldplay is one of them. 

Coldplay; not neatly on the cutting edge of anything, but nonetheless doing something vaguely interesting, or at least doing something that occasionally has interesting results. Yes Coldplay, a band that has suffered more than its fair share of criticism and backlashes in the past and no doubt will do so again in the future - often on account of it's morbidly neurotic, yet schizophrenically charismatic frontman, but a band too who are widely loved. Currently the biggest band in the World; a band that have Sold over 55 million records, and a band who sell out within minutes everywhere they play no matter how big the venue.

Given the level of their success, Coldplay you might say possibly deserve to be assessed fairly and without too much prejudice. Possibly, that's true... unless its really funny that is. A case in point here would be Wyndham Wallace's excellent Mylo Xyloto review on Quietus. Clearly Wallace has got a very big bee in his bonnet about Coldplay. Luckily for us, the bee is not only massive, but is also a comedy genius, albeit one who allows his prejudices to cloud his judgement: the Bernard Manning of music journalism, if you will.

Simon Goddard's review in Q magazine is a more rational affair, if a little too fawning for my tastes. At least Goddard makes his point with evidence and logic, rather than relying on wit and vinegar. Better still is Ian Cohen's effort on Pitchfork. He highlights clearly and rationally the album's strengths and shortcomings, and does the same for the band as a whole for that matter. In addition, like Tony, Cohen talks about Coldplay's use of R and B style production techniques. And he does so very neutrally; admiring the fact that Coldplay continually, unabashedly try new things, while at the same time conceding that the results do not always work, nor do they work for everyone.

When I come back from the bar with the drinks, Tony's pulled up the Pitchfork review on his smartphone and is using it to outline his reservations about Mylo. Cap safely back on the pill bottle. Cheers.


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