(Planet Me)
Thursday, December 17, 2015
COLDPLAY "A Head Full Of Dreams"

It's the 8.23pm to Swindon. Been a tough day already. You got a seat on the most expensive train in Britain, and there's still four days to go. You're exhausted and you want the world to go away. Time for a break. Put on Coldplay. Chris Martin knows. The world is tough, but we have love. Or at the very least, we have a child to put to bed, and if I leave the office on time, I can give her a bath, and my partner can watch her shit programmes about cooking, and I can listen to music on the way back where the most privacy I ever get is 43 minutes sat next to a stranger, or, on a bad day, stood up next to a person I meet most days but never actually talk to. This is your music. The sound of exhausted hope without direction, full of vague specifics and specifically vague … feelings.

“A Head Full Of Dreams” is so bland, so tasteful, so neutered, it's almost offensive. Chris Martin never sounds genuinely passionate about anything. He sounds like if his heartbroken, he'd just shrug and go to the next thing. Imagine, with that much money, you could be anything... and you chose to be Coldplay. You chose to take all your influences, ... and somehow be less than them. Track 2 - “Birds” - sits on a complete ripoff – sorry, homage – to “Close To Me”, and yet somehow loses its way. It's not that I hate Coldplay, because that indicates a degree of engagement the band don't actually warrant – they're not even bad enough to hate, but more one to consider briefly and move on. They're not even awful enough to hate, even if everything they do now sounds like a 1985 U2 bside.

Given the superficial depth – the lack of genuine feeling, because all of it seems like a theoretical exercise, a friendly match – what stings is that Coldplay don't even seem that engaged. Brian Eno must need the money – I mean, I presume he's involved in this, as a kind of indie white boy tastemaker who adds his magic brand of atmosphere – because I can't see why he'd be interested in this in any other way. If he isn't well, someone needs to have a word. Because this record is just.. well, it's Coldplay. I may not have been a fan of “Ghost Stories”, but at least that had... something... and there is a cohesion in that. Compared to this, “Ghost Stories” is Coldplay's searing heart-on-sleeve 'Holy Bible' style masterpiece. In fact, I don't even know why I still listen to them, maybe in a sense of general outmoded loyalty that they might reach the not-very-great-heights of a decade ago, Coldplay are a musical placeholder, the music for people who think they should like music and not really love music, the edgy, challenging stuff for when Adele gets too boring, and you know mate, I'm tired and it's late, and I just wanna Netflix and chill yeah? Maybe listen to Coldplay whilst I surf the internet yeah? Cheers, mate. Night.

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