Grammys a sweet revenge for ColdplayFebruary 15th, 2009 - 10:48 am ICT by IANS
Maybe winning three awards at the recent Grammy awards will make Coldplay feel a little better about themselves. They might be one of the biggest bands in the world but are still derided, and in one most unkind drubbing were declared “the most insufferable band of the decade” by the reputed New York Times.
Coldplay took home awards for Best Rock Album for “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends”, Song of the Year and best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals for the single “Viva La Vida”.
The criticisms were heaviest after they released their third album “X&Y”. It was panned and everyone agreed that the band tried to sound much bigger than they were. But now with their fourth album “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends” they might have finally vindicated themselves.
It received rave reviews for being experimental and, more important, for finally ditching some of their more trademark annoying tics. They got help from avant garde producer Brain Eno, who when asked by lead singer Chris Martin if he knew anyone who could help them get better, replied, “Well, I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but I might be the man.”
With their latest album they had to go back to the drawing board and start and do some soul searching.
They had to admit that Eno was right when he said, “Your songs are too long. And you’re too repetitive, and you use the same tricks too much, and big things aren’t necessarily good things. And you use the same sounds too much, and your lyrics are not good enough.”
Martin himself with his persona invites a lot of derision. He is a rock star who confessed he was a virgin till the age of 22, writes wistful lyrics, scribbles “Make Trade Fair” on his hand and that falsetto doesn’t help either. He is married to the beautiful Oscar winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow but says “If your wife went out with Brad Pitt, you’d want to prove yourself, you know what I mean?”
The band has had to endure taunts in popular culture when in a movie a character tells someone that he knew the other was gay because he liked Coldplay.
It is generally agreed that Coldplay has good command over their songs in terms of solid hooks, great choruses and that soaring sound that made bands like U2 and Radiohead hugely successful.
With their fourth album they seem to have ironed out some tics and have that requisite hunger. They were bold enough to record the album in “a bakery, a nunnery, a magic shop, a church.”
Coldplay set out to make the best piece of music with their latest, though many may not quite agree it was that good. With the success of the album and those three Grammys maybe they can shake off their insecurities and just focus on making more great music.