Coldplay could have had a really nice career.
They could have made an entire career from their 2002 breakout song “Clocks.”
(Note to reader--I've since been reminded after posting this blog that "Yellow" was their breakout song. I mention "Clocks" because this is the song many people who don't know Coldplay can recall first hearing)
It would have been easy to simply repeat that formula and make “Clocks 2”, “Clocks 3”, and “Clocks 4”. When I ask my wife about their more recent material, she shrugs and says it’s okay, but it’s not “Clocks.”
Back when Coldplay was making A Rush Of Blood To The Head, the band delayed the release because they felt many of the songs they’d recorded were “rubbish”.
“It would have shown that we're happy to sit back on what we'd done and we’re not,” Chris Martin said. “For us it was important to progress and try to improve upon our abilities as musicians."
If they had indeed rushed that album’s release, it would never have included “Clocks.”
Creativity and drive are a lot like that. The drive to create something different, something better, something interesting.
So let’s move up to 2011. Coldplay’s been working for a while on album #5. Their last album, Viva La Vida, was in my mind their breakthrough album. They brought Brian Eno on board and the combination was magnificent. Don’t get me wrong—A Rush Of Blood To The Head will always be a classic. And my heart will always have a soft spot for X&Y. But their last album really was amazing.
There have been three songs I’ve heard from this latest batch of songs. The first, "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall", prompted this blog post. My wife liked it, but said the inevitable “it’s not as good as their old stuff.”
My wife is a creature of habit. She never tries out new things. She’s traditional and she’s consistent. Perhaps it’s her Dutch nature. Strong-willed, stable, secure.
I’m totally opposite. If I have the opportunity, I’ll try out something new. A new entrée. A new formula. A new route. A new anything. Maybe that’s from a youth where I lived fourteen different lives moving all around and such.
So when it comes to artists creating and trying new things, I’m all for it. I’ve built an entire career trying out different things. I love doing that. I will always be doing that.
Coldplay will always sound somewhat like, well, Coldplay. I doubt they’ll do anything as drastic as pull a Kid A on us (though that would be highly cool). Chris Martin can only sound like himself.
Yet they continue to try and experiment and GROW. The last word is the key word. GROW.
I wish all consumers would be willing to grow as well. To turn the music up and get their new records on and shut the world outside until the lights come on . . .
I for one cannot wait to experience this next phase of this incredible group.
Coldplay brothers . . . you inspire joy and rebellious love inside my beating heart.
(Check out my thoughts on the new album here.)
Labels: Coldplay, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, LP5