The Bright Side of the Moon
Just how arena-rock have Coldplay gone on their new album X & Y? From the cover art onward, Coldplayâ€šÃ„Ã´s latest document of love discovered and lost is nothing less than an impressionistic image of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.Experimental way back when, Pink Floyd’s now-signature sound first came to prominence on Dark Side. Similarly, Chris Martin and friends know a comfort zone of song composition (cynics call it a rut) that screams “typical Coldplay” despite their protestations.
Coldplay’s X & Y recipe of droning keys, orchestration, and guitars give songs like “What If” the superficially entertaining bombast Pink Floyd gave to “The Great Gig in the Sky.” Their lyrics about white shadows and planets moving at the speed of light are silly pseudo-psychedelic insight, yet they catch the ear about as well as Pink Floyd’s lunatics in the hall, even alongside single material like “Fix You” (this year’s “The Scientist”).
Pink Floyd mastered arrangements of recurring lyrical and musical themes. Coldplay, at worst, repeat history well. The title track shares with “Fix You” metaphorical references to repaired relationships; it bleeds into “Speed of Sound” and passes along a chord or two, as do “Square One” and “Talk.” Indeed, youâ€šÃ„Ã´d swear some of this music was lifted directly from Dark Side.
X & Y might be considered unoriginal — if you believed Coldplay actually set out to make music channeled from 30 years ago. That’s the result nevertheless, but itâ€šÃ„Ã´s a happy accident carried out with enough heart and naivete that we may still be talking about X & Y 30 years from now.