It's extremely popular to hate Coldplay, says Marc Hogan at Salon. Hogan himself used to consider the group "an overwrought bore." The New York Times once labeled Coldplay "the most insufferable band of the decade." Bono called branded singer Chris Martin a "wanker" and a "cretin," while Radiohead's Thom Yorke dismissed the group's sound as "lifestyle music." Yet for the past decade, Coldplay has been the most successful band on the planet, winning Grammy awards, setting sales records, and headlining festivals worldwide. Now, Hogan says, with the release this week of the band's excellent new album Mylo Xyloto, it has officially become a fruitless endeavor to actively hate the group. For one, Xyloto "could easily go down as Coldplay's best album." But more than that, the group is "so charmingly self-effacing that it's no fun to despise them." Here, an excerpt:
Coldplay are too good at a certain mode of big-tent uplift to hate them anymore, and yet, for all of their famous self-deprecation, one of Martin’s recent comments rings a little too true. "How I really feel is, we don't make it for us," he has said. "We don't make it to sell millions, we don't make it to answer critics. We make it so that if you're in a store and you buy our record, or a ticket — like a good sandwich — you go, 'That’s good!' That’s all it is." And maybe that's why it is so hard to get worked up over Coldplay’s shiny blandness: They aren’t even holding themselves to a higher standard than Jared from Subway.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- 10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- The dangers of our passionless American life
Subscribe to the Week