The Times Online Gives its Take

Originally posted on March 14, 2005 9:03 AM

"CHECK this out," said Chris Martin, towards the end of Coldplayís hour-long set. "We think itís f***ing great."

He was right: the song, entitled What If?, is almost certain to extend Coldplayís global franchise, sticking to the bandís patented formula of a tender, annoyingly sensitive verse, coupled with a chest-beating, falsetto chorus. Itís the kind of music that makes you want to a take a soulful walk across a blasted heath wearing an old school scarf.

Fans will enjoy working out whether the song is about Martinís dread of Gwyneth Paltrow leaving him, or about his fears of raising their daughter, Apple (at least the poor girl wasnít called iPod).

Given that Saturday's performance was only the second time that Coldplay had played its new material live, the musicianship was impressive.

They performed three other new songs, starting with the opener Square One – an anxious, brooding Prozac tablet of a song, with a Bono-style vocal and a bass line that could worry seismologists.

Martin probably feels that Coldplay is big enough to avoid U2 comparisons now, but the two new songs that followed, White Shadows and A Message, featured guitar lines that could have been written by The Edge in 1989. More worrying is the fact that the songs are not that different from anything on A Rush Of Blood To The Head.

Coldplayís music, however, tends to be accessible on first listen, while opening itself up further on repeated plays. Any nagging doubts about the new album were gone by the time Martin launched into the magnificent chorus of What If? Then, half way through the encore, came the new single, Speed of Sound. If thatís what the rest of the album sounds like, EMI has nothing to be nervous about.

Source: The Times Online

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