Lately I’ve noticed a lot of negative comments, tweets, blog posts and even magazine articles full of hate towards British alt-rockers, Coldplay. I’m not quite sure if it started the moment they were announced as the main act of the Super Bowl 50 Half-Time show or if it started when they released their 7th studio album, A Head Full Of Dreams. Either way, I’m sick of all of this bad blood and above everything, I’m sick of all the unjustified hate and nonsensical arguments towards a band that only want to promote love.
Yes, I’m a Coldplay fan. I’ve liked them since I was 10 years old. I grew up listening to them and actually, they were my first real concert experience. They were the ones to ignite that music spark that existed deep within myself and helped it shine. But being a fan doesn’t mean I relentlessly love or would say all their albums and songs are flawless; of course they aren’t! No artist is perfect.
Instead on focusing on the negative, we at The Daily Listening are all about positivity and more importantly, KINDNESS – so I decided to take it upon myself to dig deeper into that.
Let’s start with what matters most: their music. Coldplay have been a band since 1996. That’s 20 years! Sure, say their first 3 studio albums were very similar music-wise until –most say– the Viva La Vida era. From my perspective, the change became utterly clear when their fourth record, Mylo Xyloto came out. They kinda re-connected with their roots with Ghost Stories, and as the album title states, it was a real rough time that probably needs no explanation. Then the musical style change came out evident again with A Head Full Of Dreams.
“But their music is so different and trashy-pop-like now! How could you possibly love them?” Have you even tried to paying attention to the lyrics of their songs? Yes, their style may have changed, but one thing that remains constant is the depth of the lyrics. Frontman and main lyricist, Chris Martin expresses himself boundlessly in most of their songs. He reflects on emotion, and personally, you’d be lying if you said you’ve never connected to at least one of their songs.
Now, when did changing their music style become such a reason to hate a band? I’m not in position to compare one artist to another, but I can recall a recent example of a certain artist who moved from country to full pop, and as far as I’m concerned, no one threw the amount of shit towards her the same way they’re doing now with Coldplay. C’mon guys, it’s pretty and absolutely normal for an artist to want to experiment and switch genres once in their lifetime and while it doesn’t always work out well for everyone, at least it shows they’re trying. We live in a society that’s constantly changing, a society so invested on trends and social media, so it’s the natural course of things to be transforming.
I confess, I may not be the biggest fan of said change, but comparing Mylo Xyloto with A Head Full Of Dreams – based in the fact that they’re kind of similar style-wise – I’m content with the effort made with the latter one. Why? Because the vibe behind this last record is evident itself. Every record has its story, a message meant to be shared. Say what you will, but one thing you can’t deny is that Coldplay are excellent musicians. If you’ve ever attended a show or seen them perform live you’d see and actually comprehend that.
Aside from being awesome musicians, they’re also wonderful human beings. They’re part of a couple charities and they help in every single way they can. Just to mention a few things, the band has done auctions and made donations in benefit of organizations such as Cancer Active and Kids Company. Frontman Chris Martin has performed at fundraisers such as the 12-12-12 Concert in benefit of Hurricane Sandy relief. And also, they give 10 percent of the band’s profits to charity.
I really don’t understand what made the world throw shade at them and say such mean things. But I appreciate they don’t get involved with the drama and as I see it, they take it the professional and mature way out. Sometimes, silence is the best response. They don’t need silly arguments or greedy, arrogant speeches. I think that when you’re an artist, yes, you have the power to use your voice to speak up if something’s being stated against you, but there’s ways to say it, deny it and defend yourself…and sometimes it turns out to be used against you, and make you look bad and obnoxious.
I’m aware Coldplay’s not everyone piece of candy, I know a few people really close to me, acquaintances that really don’t like them and that can’t even hear half a song. But I’m also aware that this wave of hate is something that’s become quite bigger in the last couple of months. The world’s currently full of hate, and we don’t need any more of that.
Last but not least, the message behind their Super Bowl Half-Time performance was beautiful. It paid tribute to every single half-time performance there’s ever been, and they did it while playing clips and videos of the performances, not trying to steal the spotlight. It was a message to be inclusive when it comes to multicultural issues and the struggle of it. It was a message to spread love, to keep the positivity, to be inclusive and to know no bounds. Believe in Love. Need I say more?
At some point we all liked Coldplay and we all thought they were massive –to be honest, they still are– think about that time you used to play “Yellow” non-stop because you liked it that much and you absolutely fell for the line, “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you and everything you do…” and what about that time you nearly cried your heart out while you listened to how heartbreaking it was to hear Chris Martin sing every word on “The Scientist” or “Fix You” because you understood what it was to be heartbroken. The Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends era was grand. Let’s not forget the success that was the Viva tour. While Mylo Xyloto is my least favorite Coldplay album, don’t you even try to deny you didn’t jammed out to “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall“ or “Charlie Brown.” And if you say that Ghost Stories’ “Magic” isn’t good, you’re absolutely lying.
Look back at all those moments you’ve listened to Coldplay and actually felt connected to their songs. Why is it that there’s still so much hate towards them now? Did they did something bad to you? Or is it that they said something that changed your perspective on who they are or the message they want to spread? Because I can’t recall a single time they’ve done so.
We love Coldplay for who they are. For the message they want to send in in the form of music. For their authenticity. For being true to themselves. For being socially aware. We understand they’re not a band that plays music for everyone. We understand if you’ve grown out of them, it’s absolutely valid. But growing out of a band, not understanding what they’re doing anymore isn’t a reason to pen hurtful articles about them. That only shows your immaturity. They’re, after all, human beings just like us. Besides growing up and becoming more mature both as humans and as a band, whether we like it or not, the only thing they did was evolve. Maybe you should do the same.
“All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society, we can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it to a higher level.” – Bill Bernbach