Back in the day, people (read: music critics) used to compare every U.K. band trying to make a go of it in the United States to Radiohead, usually to diminish the efforts of the band in question. As in: "Radiohead-lite." Travis might as well have changed its name to that. Coldplay, too, back in the beginning. Embrace got it a little bit, but the group was usually measured up against Oasis (thanks to its brawling brothers, Danny and Richard McNamara) or The Verve (thanks to its sprawling, anthemic songs). Now Coldplay has become the new yardstick, and it's brought along with it positive connotations. As in: "the next Coldplay." That seems to fit Embrace better, even though, you know, the McNamara brothers were already a success in England--based on singles like 1997's "All You Good Good People"--while Chris Martin and company were still at university. But that's quibbling. Besides, Embrace better get used to the comparison, since the best song ("Gravity") on the group's forthcoming album, Out of Nothing, was written by, um, Coldplay. Snow Patrol has also been tarred by the "next Coldplay" brush, but the optimistic songs on its latest, Final Straw, seem to refute that, even though they were the initial cause. Martin can do many things, but I doubt he can write a song that would sound as good on a summer day with a sweaty bottle of beer as "Spitting Games." Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody did, down to the "oooh-oooh" chorus. So there.
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