Everybody seems to love Coldplay these days, or if you’re a muso you hate them. They’re constantly the butt of jokes on American sitcoms, and generally used disparagingly to indicate that somebody has really bad taste in music.
But in 2000, they were the next big thing and I distinctly remember buying the record as soon as it came out. I was already a big fan of Yellow, which was playing everywhere by that point, but I had also just seen them at Glastonbury and I had really liked the rest of the songs they played in their set. Later a friend would recount that we already seen them play – at a local band level – at The Roadhouse in Manchester, second or third on the bill, when they had been starting out. But I don’t remember that at all. I remember seeing our friend’s band – but not Coldplay.
The thing that strikes me most about this album is how it sounds like nothing else they did after. It’s so downbeat and melancholic – which I like. A lot of the songs on this record are what I would describe as beautiful, and that’s not something I usually look for in an album.
I’d still be a fan now if they had continued in that direction – but I think they traded in what melancholia they had for catchier tunes; and even though some of their later stuff is just as downbeat as the songs here, it doesn’t sound as authentic. Shame.
Hidden Gem: We Never Change