Well, the people have spoken. According to the listeners of BBC 6Music, the best song from the past decade is Clocks by Coldplay.
I couldn’t be happier with this outcome. Every generation appears to have a band that it’s not “OK” to like. Said band then becomes the butt of every single lazy criticism that can possibly be made of music; their very name a synonym for blandness itself. Criticisms of such bands become so commonplace that those who hurl the insults ironically become infinitely more boring and tedious than the music they so gleefully attack.
As a huge Coldplay fan whose defence of the band could often be described as “militant”, it’s lovely to have some validation for a change. It’s great to feel, for once, that just because I like Coldplay it doesn’t make me any less of a person.
Because you’re wrong, you know. Not to hate Coldplay. Oh no, you’re perfectly entitled to your opinion. Nobody’s forcing you to listen to them. Ever. But when it comes to your inchoate, narrow minded, unimaginative and hackneyed explanation of just why it’s wrong to like Coldplay, you honestly could not be more mistaken.
In the wake of this sudden confirmation that it’s actually fine to like Coldplay, let’s take a look at five of the most common criticisms of the band and examine, in turn, why each offers a deeply flawed argument.
5. All Of Their Songs Are Slow And Miserable
I know it’s hopelessly naive of me to assume that any ardent Coldplay hater will even bother to listen to any of the following; but their back catalogue is loaded with such infective nuggets of incandescent joy as Shiver, Hurts Like Heaven, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, Lovers In Japan, Strawberry Swing, Speed of Sound and Glass of Water. It’s therefore easy for me to conclude that anyone who makes this argument in earnest either hasn’t heard much Coldplay, or they have no grasp of such concepts as tempo and key.
I appreciate it’s hard for some to understand that anybody could ever get anything even approaching enjoyment from listening to Coldplay, but trust me. Some of their songs are powerful enough to inspire an almost overwhelming sense of euphoria. Live, they’re even more potent – even magical.
A less developed cousin of this criticism is that all of Coldplay’s songs “sound the same”, with no further discussion of just how this might be at all possible. It’s surprising how often I hear this argument, but when I do I know that I’m safe; as I’m apparently in the company of someone who was born without ears.
This article was first posted on February 4, 2013