Listening Post: Coldplay

I’m not sure whether it specifically coincides with Chris Martin’s marriage to the insufferable Gwyneth Paltrow, but I stopped listening to Coldplay quite a while ago. Their debut album, Parachutes, deservedly brought them worldwide recognition and its follow-up, A Rush of Blood To the Head, was genuinely one of the best alternative records of the 2000s.

But then came X&Y, which wasn’t bad but was overall a bit of a let-down, followed by the decision for Coldplay — suddenly the biggest band in the world — to begin dressing alike and releasing silly concept albums. (Again, given the pretension required for that kind of thing I can’t help but bring it back to the possibility of a Chris & Gwyneth co-authored, but never published, “Goop” article on how to create a successful band.)

But the prospect of Coldplay doing the requisite pop single for the soundtrack to the new Hunger Games movie was intriguing, so I gave it a listen on its release a few days ago. And it’s actually fantastic. It’s sweeping and appropriately cinematic but at the same time subtle and flat-out gorgeous in the way that Coldplay used to be all those years ago. Yeah, they’re still probably the biggest band in the world — or at least one of them — but this new track shows that every once in a while why they can still prove why that is.

Here’s Atlas.

Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.