So I stumbled across this article about the upcoming COLDPLAY record and it got me thinking...when is it a good idea for a huge band with lots of commercial success to change and when is it a bad idea. You look at various bands (U2, Radiohead) who have made radical shifts in musical style with greater commerical and critical success while others (REM, New Order) stayed the course and saw their relevance disappear. But as is the case with the first two examples, eventually fans started to slowly tire of the experiementalism and the bands slowly returned to their roots. In the case of u2, with all the applause that came with Achtung Baby and Zooropa their was equal disdain for POP. Eventually they returned to their signature sound on the last two records and saw their importance to the rock world return. Despite what people say about Radiohead and their experimental nature, I would argue that the most recent album is the closest thing they have done to THE BENDS than any other record (which, despite everyone's claim that OK COMPUTER is their favorite, still outsells anything else in the band's catalogue)
So what is COLDPLAY to do? They say they are moving away from their sound for a grittier, darker approach (cribbing a bit from the U2 Playbook with producer Brian Eno on board). Rolling Stone says that this is a good thing but I argue, what was wrong with the band in the first place? Will this new direction rob the band of their commercial appeal for the sake of chasing "artistic integrity"? Did the music on the first three records not have any art to it because it sold? Can a band find a balance? Well, the article at least got me listening to their music again.
DISCLAIMER: I know it is frightfully uncool to like COLDPLAY and I might very well lose my Cool Music Blog Registration Card for this post, but I defy anyone who has heard "Clocks" not to get goosebumps
A Couple of songs from the last album just to remind you were the band left off (unfortunately I only have this record on my computer at this time, but you can pretty much find anything on line)
(mp3) Coldplay -- Square One
I thought this was the highlight of the last record.
I was at this show and I thought this song was brilliant. Too bad I can't find a better quality of it.