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The Problem With... Coldplay's "Christmas Lights"


During the holidays, artists tend to release disposable singles to cash in on the season.

To my mind, no one ever buys these singles for themselves, they always get them as a gifts.

We're too busy buying albums on Best of the Year lists for ourselves.

Anyway, this year, we're treated to a few new holiday singles, including Kanye's "Christmas in Harlem" (hey, I loved My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but "dee-ricious" will not happen if I can help it), The Killers' listless annual charity single "Boots" (hey, aren't you guys on hiatus?) and Mariah Carey's "Oh, Santa" (which has a tempo so fast and clapping so loud, that the only word you can really hear her sing is "chimney").

Oh all these new releases, Coldplay's new single, "Christmas Lights," seems like one with the most staying power, thanks to its Old World feel and the stale grandeur for which the band is known. Hell, this time next year, we may hear this track at the mall.

But that doesn't mean it's especially good.

In this track, Coldplay plays the band's characteristic melancholy with folkish instruments. No dice, chaps -- I already get my nostalgic folk fix from Midlake.

Meanwhile, the track's theme is a teary argument and a lonely walk down the street --- so it's real Christmas-y. Really, the only time we really hear about Christmas in the track is the choruses -- and maybe that arena breakdown at the second half. Honestly, Christmas matters so little in this song, they could replace the word "Christmas" with "Autumn" or "April" and it just becomes another Coldplay track.

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I happen to think that it's the cliche lyrics more than anything that makes Coldplay so stale. Take this maudlin phrase: "Holding on to all these chandeliers of hope." Ugh. Add in a random reference to drunken Elvises, and "Christmas Lights" becomes the most non-sequitor Christmas song since B2K's "Why'd You Leave Me On Christmas."

Before you ask: No, that's not a compliment.

And, for that, Coldplay deserves a lump of coal.

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