Our Thoughts On The New Coldplay Album...

When Coldplay first blasted onto the UK music scene, I must admit that they hit a real sweet spot for me. Upon hearing their story (young kids making their own record, which then took the UK by storm) and then digging those first few magical listens to their smash hit single, "Yellow", I was a huge fan.

A few months later, the buzz on this band hit the US, where they were now getting airplay not only on alt-radio, but the local Top 40 station as well. That was cool by me, as I was more than happy to see a band I could actually stand rock the US charts.

Then one night, I sat in a local North Hollywood pub frequented by, of all people, Garry Marshall (he of "Happy Days" and "Laverne & Shirley" fame, among others) and watched as a bottle-blonde soccer mom proceeded to play "Yellow" ten times in a row on the jukebox. Each time the song would begin, she would literally shriek with joy and smile wildly at her friends, as if to say, "I played this. Aren't I fucking hip?"

It was at that moment that I stopped being a Coldplay fan.

Admittedly, I'd played that first album to death and had moved on, so to speak, but seeing Coldplay connect with a crowd I wanted no part of was something that I should have seen coming. Still, I consider myself a U2 fan to this day, despite their audience's unseemly douche quotient. Why did I drop Coldplay like a dirty shirt?

When the band released their next album, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, that young band I fell in love with had been replaced by an overly safe band heck-bent on being a less-edgy U2.

Nothing they've done since has changed my belief that their first record was simply an amazing aberration. That was, until the band debuted music from their new album on last night's episode of The Colbert Report.

Never mind the fact that their new album's title (Mylo Xyloto) is complete gibberish, and would normally lead me to continue to make them the butt of many jokes, but the song they played, "Paradise", actually made me believe that they might just be worthy of the tag "the next U2".

Granted, they'll never be U2 circa Joshua Tree, but they very well could be U2 circa How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, which might seem like a backhanded compliment to some, but there's nothing I can do about that.

I hate to admit it, but Chris Martin is actually a likeable, charismatic guy. He also seems genuinely appreciative of the fame he and his band have attained and, despite being married to a Hollywood A-lister, hasn't allowed much of it to go to his head.

Still, I can't for the life of me name another member of the band. In that sense, Coldplay are very much like Collective Soul, Matchbox 20, and Maroon 5 in that most of us can only name the singer. That's fine by them, I suspect, and something else to admire about these Brits whose new album is being played at top volume in my apartment right now. The difference between playing this album at top volume and, say, the first Black Sabbath album, is that the neighbors would be pounding on the walls by now.

As it stands, Coldplay at top-volume doesn't annoy as much as soothe the animal spirit. I say this because both of my dogs were wide awake right before I hit "play", but are now both sound asleep. Indeed, this new Coldplay record is a downright pleasant, unoffensive listen and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as one knows going in that that's what you're going to get when you play a Coldplay album.

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