Coldplay sags under its own lofty image

Coldplay_1Music-industry hype machines have doubled their output as Coldplay’s new album, X&Y, comes out tomorrow. The most enjoyable official ad, for us, was the full back page of yesterday’s New York Times Arts & Leisure section—an ad that, with the section opened up, ended up cowering next to Jon Pareles’ scathing front-page article, “The Case Against Coldplay.” Ouch. If the band’s own nauseous PR is to be believed, they’ve wasted no time stagnating under their own perceived importance. As an example, singer Chris Martin describes the song “A Message” this way: “I didn’t write it as much as it got sent. I woke up in the middle of the night, I ran downstairs, and this song arrived, like a late-night visitor.” Yeah, only uncultured plebians sit down and write songs; a real genius plucks them from the ether. reports that “the band [has] stressed that it wasn’t really musical ideas they took into the studio, more just moods: a sound, a moment, a feeling.” In other words, the album will not only be dull and introspective but inconsistent as well. Not that music-industry scum actually had direct access to it. According to, “Critics were only permitted to listen to the album via an iPod contained in a glass case under a guard’s watchful eye.” If I had any say in it, that’s where it would stay.

—Posted by David Kiefaber