Years ago, something disturbing was taped up on the walls of my friend's dorm room at SMU. Printed on plain, white paper were the lyrics from "A Rush of Blood to the Head" by Coldplay. He'd even increased the font size, bolded some words, and put them on multiple pages to make them stand out against the stale walls of SMU's Mary Hay Dorm.
Wait, hang on.
It wasn't my friend. It was me.
I'm the one who had the lyrics to "A Rush of Blood to the Head" taped up on my dorm room walls. And it wasn't an accident. I didn't accidentally, like, "oh, shit" copy and paste the wrong song, re-size and bold the verses, print them to multiple sheets of paper and place them in a meaningful array over my dorm walls.
I just really loved Coldplay. I loved Parachutes. I loved the drifty, boozy darkness of "High Speed." I loved "Shiver." And I loved A Rush of Blood to the Head, the sprawling darkness of "Warning Sign," the war-infused lyrics of the title track. (Plus, there was the show at Nokia Theater in 2002, during the Rush of Blood tour, where I sat next to these girls who I thought about asking out, and then didn't. Turned out to be the band Eisley, who was also opening.)
I'm not saying all this because I'm not supposed to like Coldplay for some bullshit reason. I'm saying it now because of a new ironclad truth: Coldplay really, really blows. Hard. On the Star Wars scale of terrible, the last three albums each hit Phantom Menace. Following the morose stuff on Rush of Blood and Parachutes, there were notable moments of complete ass suckery, like:
1. The CW-ready melodrama of X&Y's "Swallowed in the Sea":
Actual lyric: "And I could write a song a hundred miles long / Well that's where I belong / Well you belong with me"
2. The annoying, U2 intensity of "Cemeteries of London" off Viva La Vida:
Actual lyric: "At night they would go walking to the breaking of the day / The morning is for sleeping"
3. And the meandering headache of Mylo Xyloto:
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Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Marvin Laird - Bernadette Peters In Concert
Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 / 2:30pm @ Meyerson Symphony Center 2301 Flora St. Ste. 100 Dallas TX 752012301 Flora St. Ste. 100, Dallas TX 75201
Actual song title: "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall"
There is something low about this kind of musical change. Something depressing, like a part of you has been poured out on the sidewalk. It's the feeling of moving on from the music tastes of your youth. Sometimes, you can see it coming: a sudden numbness during a song that used to prickle your senses. It's the reason all of those Dave Matthews live bootlegs are in the trash. Sometimes you're just blindsided because Hey,That Artist You Used to Love Suddenly, Inexorably Blows.
Has Coldplay always sucked? I don't know. What do you think? I can't separate myself from it. I grew up with them, so part of this is sentimental. Thing is, I'll always check in to hear their new stuff. Just to see if they still suck.