Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Listened to the radio this morning: “Speed Of Sound” by Coldplay. This song has been in the radio playlist for almost a week now, but I’ve always switched stations whenever I hear its intro. This morning I decided to give the song a chance.

The song starts like any other Coldplay song: steady rhythm, then a gradual build-up, layer upon layer of sound—vocals, instruments, percussion. In the few seconds of first impression, one is tempted to tune out: another formulaic song. Even Chris Martin’s vocals sound like, well, like he always does.

But then something happens; one just has to stick to the song and get past a particular point. The refrain comes on and then second verse, and gradually the song transforms right before your very ears. The song’s elegant yet spare melody, fueled by Martin’s engaging falsetto, subtly latches on and refuses to let go. It’s fascinating to hear, the audio equivalent of Cinderella transforming with a wave of the fairy’s wand.

No new breakthrough for Coldplay, though. Maybe Chris Martin and company should really start branching out their sound into new territory. Change need not be too drastic, but another album full of “Clocks,” “Yellow” and “In My Place” and one would be tempted to make a Coldplay’s Greatest Hits album into a non-stop Stars On 45 medley.


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