In Defense of Coldplay
Why the prideful betrayal?
The other day, a friend and I were chatting away and when Coldplay came up — she immediately bashed the band that I secretly and publicly adore. I was curious about why she had joined the legions of former fans — that admittedly couldn’t get enough of Clocks when it was all over the place more than a decade ago — when it was sensible to worship the album that became a global fiesta.
It seems that there is a long-standing movement that has been building against the British wonder boys who had me at A Rush of Blood to the Head — both the title of their 2002 follow up to the illustrious debut Parachutes (2000) — and the highlighted track that I used to assuage any guilt I felt about ending it all for the glory of a dignified exit.
2001 revealed itself as one of the most challenging months of my adult life. My beloved grandmother passed away and when the news was delivered — I was all alone — in an apartment I shared with a roommate that forced me to perfect the skill of sleeping with one eye open.
I was also in a crisis of confusion and disillusionment as my burgeoning writing career was stalled by the limitations of absent networking tools and the #Magic of #BlackGirls who are willing to pass the baton to those that are eager and worthy of such a privilege.
My days — were desperate ones — that had me sobbing at rejection letters from every single publication I was pining for — which sickeningly included the likes of Vogue and all the other brands that I can confidently attest — didn’t deserve me.
But back then — I was stuck in limbo and my personal life was just as uninspiring as I kept attracting the type of guys that couldn’t adequately console me during my darkest hour.
So, when 2002 manifested with the ego of the town crier announcing the impending end of my twenties — I was thrown into the level of disarray that only Kate Bush could expertly swaddle — until I witnessed Politk at Grammys 2003.
The performance gave me the kind of chills that creep up with slow certification of what has been missing and how magnificent it is to discover the value of a new friend who will never leave you — even when your messy sob fest almost drowns their patience for you.
Even HBO was dazzled enough to join the craze — as they used the hit single — Politik as their soundtrack to introduce the coming attractions for the fall season of that year.
The day after the much-heralded Grammy introduction — I raced to the East Village — to my hamlet of spirituality — Tower Records. Those were the days when we had to ceremoniously add a new CD to an already bloated case — filled with ritualistic pickings of synchronized mood swings.
I was absolutely in the mood for everything Coldplay had to offer — as I explored the past and present with the freedom of a young woman who already gave the notion of diversity — the stamp of approval.
A Rush of Blood to the Head was evidently conceived from the fragments of the inconceivable tragedy of 9/11, which added even more lust for me — as I had weathered the aftermath with the nagging grief that New York would never recover from such an invasion.
I never got myself back — but I was able to navigate that truth with the renderings of the band that arrived with timely necessity. The charm behind the tracks on their most lauded album to date — is entrenched in the brilliant symbiosis of rock and the lax tethering of the piano — an instrument that can only shine under the tutelage of edgy genius.
The Scientist and In My Place are most reflective of Coldplay’s innate style of the classic play on instruments and verses that will absolutely never fail to evoke the emotions that are still in motion — even when the race seems to be running out of steam.
I get why people enjoy mocking the audacity of Sting as an artist of virtue — but the prideful betrayal that is being regulated to a band that was once the shit — long enough for ownership — is still a mystery to me and others — who spent their vital years — energetically trying to be vital.
For me, Coldplay will always be the mandated default for fast relief from the trials and tribulations that still batter my soul in the same way it did when I was younger and less-inclined to believe that years later — I would still be yearning for the exact same things.
I’m not holding back in my defense of Chris Martin’s operatic soft rock — that incites sweats of nostalgia that’s good for the soul. Singing along is always best and when it comes to Moses — I can’t imagine anything finer than a love song that strips away the usual distractions to reveal the deeper meaning of connections that could break apart — without jagged edges.
Each offering resembles the signature issuance of Coldplay’s heartened legacy that despite the current incoherency that dominates the scene — still resonates effectively with the tools that will reignite what many of you have chosen to stubbornly refute.
I choose to defend — because whenever I feel woozy from sentimental feelings that almost keel me over — it always feel like A Rush of Blood to the Head.
And that’s a good thing.