Sunday, September 16, 2018

Weekend Diversion: Coldplay

Coldplay is a band among a relative few in an odd position: Loved by many, and also one it’s fashionable to hate. With this band, as is usually the case, the majority of people are somewhere between those two extremes. I’m with the majority: I like a lot of Coldplay’s songs, but I wouldn’t say I love the band—or hate them, either. But what I like, I really like.

The video up top is the video for “Miracles (Someone Special)”, which I saw for the first time yesterday when it was broadcast on our free-to-air music video channel, and it’s what made me think of talking about them in a Weekend Diversion post. I’d never seen the video, and had never heard the song, either. Maybe if I was an actual fan I would have. But, then, if I was an actual fan, I may have talked about them already.

In any case, I love the visuals in that video, the old photos that are animated in whole or part, or in which the subjects move. It’s trying to show the diversity that makes a person “someone special”, which, while at first it may seem counter-intuitive, it nevertheless makes perfect sense, and those visuals that make the song better. In my opinion.

The song was released last 14 July 2017, the second single from Kaleidoscope EP. While the EP hit number 12 in New Zealand, this song was not especially successful. It never entered the Top 40 in New Zealand, but did hit 5 in the “Heatseekers” chart of songs outside the Top 40. It hit Number 42 in Canada, and 54 in the UK. It didn’t chart in Australia or the USA.

The first song of theirs that I ever heard was 2000’s “Yellow”. The song was on their debut album, Parachutes, and had mixed success: Number 23 in New Zealand, Number 5 in Australia (Platinum), didn’t chart at all in Canada, and 4 in the UK (Platinum), but only 48 in the USA, though it went Gold. I liked it well enough, in part because there were other songs that had a similar feel back then.

Next up, “Viva La Vida”, a song I really liked when it was released in 2008. The reason I liked it was because of the infectious enthusiasm for it from a friend and fellow podcaster. In fact, I bought the album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends on iTunes because of that infection. I now rarely listen to the album, but it still pops up sometimes when I have music on shuffle play.

The song was quite successful: Number 16 in New Zealand (Platinum), 2 in Australia (Platinum), 4 in Canada (Gold), Number One in the UK (2x Platinum), and Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 (3x Platinum). The album it hit Number One on all those same countries.

The Coldplay song I like the most is “Fix You”, from the 2005 album X&Y. This song has popped up several times in TV talent competition shows, which kind of reinforced for me what a good song it is. I think that hearing other people’s interpretations is what did that. One of the things I most like about this song is the way the tempo picks up toward the middle, where other pop songs would just have a key change and call it done. Instead, this one takes on a new and assertive direction, before returning to the gentleness of the beginning of the song. If I hear this song at just the right time, and when I’m in just the right mood, it can make me tear up.

The song hit 17 in New Zealand, 25 in Australia (Platinum), 4 in Canada, 5 in the UK (2x Platinum), and 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA (Gold). The album hit Number 100 in all those same countries.

That’s it for this week’s Diversion. There could very well be another song or two that I like, or, maybe it’s more accurate to say their could be more if I heard more of their songs, since I don’t know all of them. I’ve included ones I like, however, including two—“Viva la Vida” and, especially, “Fix You”—that I really like.

I wouldn’t have thought of sharing them had I not happened to see the video up top yesterday, and it then reminded me of their other songs that I like. And that’s really the point here: It’s not necessary to be a fan of a singer or group to like particular songs they’ve done. Obviously I couldn’t possibly care less whether those who fashionably hate Coldplay approve or not—Arthur’s Law (https://amerinz.blogspot.com/2013/04/arthurs-law.html), and all that. As I always say, “Like what you like and forget about everyone else.”

And, I do. And they’re not all “Yellow”.

No comments: