Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Songs #106 & 107 - It's TWOsday!

Song #106 of 9999                                                    Song #107 of 9999

Title: Everything in its Right Place                           Title: Don't Panic
Artist: Radiohead                                                     Artist: Coldplay
Year: 2000                                                               Year: 2000
Album: Kid A                                                            Album: Parachutes

I guess you could argue that Radiohead evolved into something more than a pop band with OK Computer, but, with Kid A, they basically left the planet and haven't been back since. For some, that means they turned into gods, making music that transcends pop and charts territory we didn't even know existed; for others, it means they became completely lost in their own self-indulgent world, with nary a melody to be heard from them again. (For the record, I fall into the former camp–one "Fake Plastic Trees" is enough for me.)

So what's a pseudo-mopy melodic British pop fiend supposed to do when a band like Radiohead suddenly desserts them? "Don't Panic"—that's what! Coldplay's debut record has almost all of the hallmarks of Radiohead's safer tracks on Pablo Honey and The Bends: clean electric guitar lines, busy but not quite hyperactive drums and an emotional singer with a sweet falsetto. "Don't Panic" is really not a bad song and it came just in time to rescue non-believers from....

....scary compressed-but-ever-evolving electric pianos layered with backward masking and a perpetually rising three-chord progression spread across ten beats. Chris Martin's "we live in a beautiful world message" is nowhere to be found among Thom Yorke's lyrics about....well, who knows what they're about? It doesn't really matter because they work perfectly amidst this eerie intro to the band that has redefined pop music for the 21st century.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, all this goes to support my long held view that Coldplay are Radiohead-lite, pedalling a watered down version featuring the most commercial aspects of Radiohead's work polished with a commercial pop sheen.

    The sad thing is that Coldplay spawned a bunch of highly vapid imitators such as Athlete, Snow Patrol and Starsailor who, while they have bright moments in their discographies, are ultimately disposable.