I first listened to Coldplay’s music without knowing the band’s name. I came across their music while browsing a number of TV channels to find something interesting to watch a Saturday night in 2003. And I stayed on the Flemish TV channel that broadcasted their famous concert in Sydney, Australia. I could not immediately put a name next to the performance since I did not watch the concert from the very beginning. I found that out some months later.
Two years later I bought the DVD the band released with the same concert. I wanted to re-watch the concert and re-listen to each piece of music carefully to understand why their music sounds so well.
From the very beginning Coldplay has developed a unique musical style with harmonies and melodic lines that sound natural and trigger deep emotions. Their harmonies – so called the “vertical” music dimension – and melodic lines – so called the “horizontal” music dimension – combine in an original pattern that sounds pleasantly. The pattern is easy to identify and remember.
I then explored more Coldplay music after seeing my daughter organising her iPod music in 2004. We bought “Parachutes” and “A Rush of Blood to the Head” and year by year we were looking forward to enhancing our music collection with each new Coldplay release. Today we listen to their songs on a regular basis and we often watch their concerts. The band has become a music treasure we share in our family.
Why is Coldplay still on my favourite playlist after so many years?
Chris Martin, the vocalist, sings in a falsetto style. He and his colleagues produce a high and bright sound. The music and the lyrics go very well together as if they would have been there for ages and Coldplay brought them to light. The songs are touching because they tell simple stories that everyone can live or has lived.
Falsetto voice or head voice goes above the regular voice register. Falsetto requires solid training, intensive practicing and special abilities to control the human “singing box” where the larynx, soft palate and muscles work together to produce the sounds. Both males and females can sing falsetto, but the male falsetto is somewhat richer given the transition traces from a boy to a man voice.
Critics describe Coldplay music as being influenced by a number of past and current musicians. The critics also admit that the group compositions moved from a meditative, emotional phase to art rock – with accents of classical music and jazz – through an “alternative rock” phase. The outcome of this evolution is today’s Coldplay voice in the music world.
In a short intermezzo on the “Coldplay Live 2012” DVD, referring to the “Mylo Xyloto” Album, Chris Martin says:
“We’ve managed with this album to replace our natural English anxiety with gratitude, meaning that we can really enjoy ourselves without feeling guilty about it which is kind of how some of us were raised to feel as our culture.”
Some other critics argue that Coldplay’s international success results from the group efforts to create music with more international than British accents. This may explain why Coldplay’s audiences, from different countries and therefore with different cultural backgrounds, feel the music closer to their emotional styles. An outstanding example is the album “Viva la Vida”, which was shortly produced after touring Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
In the same DVD intermezzo, Chris Martin also says:
“The Mylo tour is the first where we’ve really looked at people in the eye while we played. You look at each other and it’s a great feeling. You might never look at that person in the eyes again, so you have a real connection”.
I could say that I find myself in their music, even if my generation enjoyed another sort of music. I must admit that there might be some personal reasons of why Coldplay music finds its way to me. There must be some inner connections I am unaware of which I could not name or perhaps because their music is simple and open, so everyone can be touched by that. Or because of their communicative fidelity and attitude towards their audience:
“Getting ready to go on stage and going on stage is like a complete release. I think Bruce Springsteen says to the E Street Band… you know, tonight could be someone’s first concert or someone’s last concert… so we nicked that!” (Chris Martin).
I could not say that I have got one or several favourite Coldplay songs. I never get tired of any. It is hard to choose some songs and leave the others out. Each song is a sequence in a raw that brings in energy to music lovers:
“When the lights go down that’s 30,000 people’s lives colliding for that one moment… So it’s a wonderful feeling of togetherness and possibility… And then it’s about trying to hold that energy for an hour and a half…” (Chris Martin).
Coldplay: Official website
Source of the photo on this page: Coldplay website