Prospekt’s March

Coldplay – and Chris Martin in particular – generate so much bad feeling among the haters, naysayers and distractors that the chance of the band getting a fair hearing from anyone outside the consumer guide that is Q magazine is fairly minimal. Before a note is even heard, accusations of middle class guilt, bedwetting and the kind of naïve sloganeering that displays a shocking lack of political awareness are trotted out with a regularity you could set your watch by. And of course, if you really want a laugh then be sure to get multi-millionaire class-warrior Alan McGee on to the case.

And what is Coldplay’s crime? That they make music that’s more popular than Sunn O)))? That they’ll never curate All Tomorrow’s Parties? That they write melodies that people can whistle? Yeah, we all know about the actress wife, the daftly named kids and the showbiz associations that are dropped with an air of faint embarrassment (“As I was saying to Steven the other day…oh…I mean Spielberg!”) but that’s what comes with being a pop star. Which is what Coldplay are, nothing more nothing less. Face it, if Coldplay had trotted out Fuck Buttons’ album they’d still be despised. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that that will ever happen but then again, who’d have ever thought that McCartney had been putting out techno on the sly?

At the end of the day, the average Quietus reader should fucking love Coldplay with every fibre in their being; if there were no Coldplay, there’d be nothing to kick against and when there’s nothing to kick against, that’s the moment the world turns beige. Forever. And, in fairness to Coldplay, they’ve done their best to colour their world. While the ludicrously titled Viva La Vida Or Death All His Friends maintains their winning way with a melody, the notion of Brian Eno making things off-kilter with a production that eschews bombast in favour of texture was pretty damn inspired. At the very least we don’t have to suffer the mawkish pianos or the tasteful guitars that characterised their previous outings. We just have to settle for the usual platitudes instead.

With Prospekt’s March, Coldplay have delivered an EP of extra material that didn’t make Viva La Blah Blah’s final cut and while it’s all pretty much what you’d expect (see the string-driven ‘Rainy Day’ or the innocuous ‘Glass Of Water’) it’s difficult not to think that Coldplay have really done themselves a disservice with ‘Lost +’, the much-vaunted collaboration with Jay-Z that’s anything but. Put simply, we’re talking remix and a not very good one at that where Jay-Z pops up, sticks some rap about fame and betrayal over the top while keeping Beyonce on hold on the other line and hoping that this will do.

In the final analysis, there’s nothing here to win over those who dismiss Coldplay as so much lightweight fluff while hardcore fans will get their jollies from the fact that ‘Life In Technicolor’ has had vocals added to it. Big whoop. In the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season, perhaps now is the time for Coldplay fans and the rest of us to call a truce. At least till the New Year; then we can kick the shit out of each other then.

The Quietus Digest

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