Of course, Coldplay have also made some less than stellar records. But even their lesser albums like X&Y and the current Mylo Xyloto, contain some great songs. On the former, Coldplay's stab at the grandiosity of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the song "Fix You" particularly stands out, while on the current, largely underwhelming Mylo Xyloto, I still can't help but be sucked in by the gorgeousness of "Paradise."
But then there is Coldplay live, and this is where the band truly stands out. One of the things I most enjoyed about the three Coldplay concerts I've seen — and particularly the last one I saw on the tail end of the Viva La Vida tour at the Gorge in Eastern Washington — is the way they engage the audience.
Outside of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, I would be hard pressed to name any single rock and roll band today who captures a similarly communal feeling between audience and performer in concert.
The "whoa-ohs" exchanged between the guys onstage, and the folks in the crowd — and did I mention they draw some of the hottest looking girls you'll find at a rock show anywhere these days? — just really leave you with this warm and fuzzy effect, once you leave the arena. Girls aside, and for you rocker dudes out there, it should also be noted that Will Champion just pounds the living crap out of his drums in concert.
But the other thing that needs to be mentioned here, is the fact that these seem to be genuinely nice guys. Current crop of "The" bands aside (Cage "The" Elephant, Foster "The" People, etc.), the idea of earnest rock bands, particularly at a time when average working people are really hurting, is a really welcome one right now.
From what I can tell, Coldplay is a band that wears their hearts mostly on their collective sleeve. Sure, they would love nothing more than to be U2 — especially since Brian Eno started producing their records.
Mylo Xyloto is not an album that has me rushing to buy tickets to Coldplay's concert in Seattle this April (much as I like the one song, "Paradise") either.
But watching them at home alone tonight on PBS beat the pants out of Gaga, Bieber, and the rest of the "New Years Rockin' Eve" crap over on that other station.
Given the alternatives, Coldplay deserve a break.