Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Not what was promised, but then some...

I still fully intend to post about Paglia, but at the moment--as a type--I'm listening to the new Coldplay song, "Speed of Sound".

Not a bad little tune (even if the opening bars and the rhythm make it feel a little like "Clocks - Part Deux"), really. It sounds like Coldplay, of course, but it also furthers Chris Martin's mission to make the band The New U2 ("Speed of Sound", in my mind, channels The Joshua Tree-era U2.)

Now, personally, I love The Old U2 (especially the stuff from The Joshua Tree and War!) I also happen to love Coldplay. But "Speed of Sound"--at least musically speaking--is hardly uncharted territory. For either band.

You know what I think? I think that instead evolving, provoking, testing the boundaries of popular music, the men of Coldplay have chosen to stick with what they know works. And "Speed of Sound" does indeed work. But wouldn't have been much more interesting and more fruitful--creatively-speaking--for Coldplay to have pursued other sonic avenues? The promise of experimentation made in "A Rush of Blood to the Head" and especially "Amsterdam" (both from Coldplay's sophmore album, A Rush of Blood to the Head) is not fulfilled in "Speed of Sound".

I just hope that, as nice a song as it is, "Speed of Sound" isn't the real promise of what's to come.

*Coldplay's third album, X&Y, will be released on June 6th.*

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