Browsing Tag: coldplay

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    Coldplay’s Kinda Clever Marketing

    October 19, 2011

    Coldplay has a new album coming out next week, Mylo Xyloto, which I’ve learned should be pronounced MY-lo ZY-luh-to. The album artwork is pretty interesting (no clue if the music will be) and they’re doing something pretty clever to get fans to talk about the album and help promote: a simple online tool that creates Mylo Xyloto-like album artwork with your initials.

    The tool encourages fans to make their own personalized artwork then use it as their Facebook or Twitter profile pic. I’m betting a lot of Coldplay fans are doing that already.

    Here’s the original album cover:

    coldplay mylo xyloto

    And here’s what my custom artwork looks like:


    I’d have preferred to use “M2” rather than “MM,” but they only let you use letters. Oh, well. Still kinda interesting to me. Always curious to see how bands are marketing themselves these days. Lord knows that U2 has had all kinds of trouble in this area in the last few years.


    My Favorite Albums of 2009

    January 2, 2010

    With each passing year I realize that the album is a dying product. Years ago, I’d buy a new album and play it non-stop until I knew all the songs and could sing half the lyrics. Now, I buy an album and listen to it once, maybe 2-3 times, and then go back to the “shuffle” option on iTunes and listen to whatever songs from my 2,000+ songs it chooses. Now, I have to make a conscious effort to listen to an album enough to get to know it. So choosing favorite albums is much different now than it would’ve been, say, 10 years ago.

    With that in mind, here are my choices for my favorite albums from 2009. I’m not even sure all of these were released in 2009, but they were new to me this past year and that’s what counts.

    noline1.) No Line On The Horizon, U2

    This one did come out in 2009, and you could’ve guessed it would be high on my list, if not at the top. I do love this album, but still don’t know where it fits among U2’s greatest albums. As I said in my @U2 review, it doesn’t really matter if this is better than Achtung Baby or The Joshua Tree. What matters is that this album speaks to me for the place I’m at in my life — just like those earlier great albums spoke to a younger me.

    boxer_union2.) Union, The Boxer Rebellion

    I had this and the number three album switched a couple times. But I’ll leave this at #2 because it’s still so intriguing to me. These are songs that don’t let you easily wrap yourself around them … at least not me. I couldn’t even name half the songs on the album, and can sing even fewer, but more often than not, when I decide I don’t want to put iTunes on shuffle and would rather listen to an album, this is where I start. So, on that basis, it gets the number two slot.

    collective-soul-rabbit3.) Collective Soul (Rabbit), Collective Soul

    My winner for worst album cover of the year! But it’s got some pretty darn good songs on it, too, so the album is well deserving of a spot in the year’s best albums. “You,” “Staring Down,” and “Welcome” are some of my faves at the moment. I heard a bunch of these songs when I saw Collective Soul back in June; of course, the album was still two months from being released, so I didn’t know any of them. Would like to hear them again in concert now that I have the album.

    vibgyor4.) We Are Not An Island, Vib Gyor

    This is the first official release from Vib Gyor, a band that’s been around a long time. I saw them in a tiny Seattle club back in 2007, and a lot of the songs they played then are on this album — just newer versions that were re-recorded. “Fallen” is a great, great song … but the album version isn’t as good as some of its previous incarnations. But what do I know? The album version was named “Best Alternative Single of 2009” when iTunes released its Best of 2009 lists a month ago.

    muse5.) The Resistance, Muse

    Despite only being #5 on this list, Muse was easily my biggest musical discovery of 2009. I had one of their songs in my iTunes collection for a year or two, but didn’t like it; I only knew I was supposed to like Muse. It wasn’t until I saw them open up for U2 twice at Giants Stadium in September that I actually did start to like them. They put on a great show, full of swagger and bombast — the Queen kind of stuff you don’t expect bands to be doing these days. Sean bought this album shortly after we saw them live, and since then he’s bought (or received as a gift) two other Muse albums, and I bought another one online. So I’ll be listening to new Muse for a while to come yet.

    Honorable Mentions

    • Backspacer by Pearl Jam — just got this one for Christmas, so it’s too new to make the list. I do like what I’ve heard, but need more time to get familiar with it.
    • The Script by The Script — catchy pop songs by an Irish group
    • Thriving Ivory by Thriving Ivory — more catchy pop songs, but not an Irish group as far as I know. In fact, I think this one may have been one of those iTunes recommendations … “if you like The Script, try Thriving Ivory.” And so I did.
    • LeftRightLeftRightLeft by Coldplay — this is the free live album that Coldplay gave out during its tour. Good stuff, but pretty basic and straightforward.

    What were some of your favorite albums and songs from 2009?


    Fix Yourself

    May 17, 2009

    You’ve probably heard the Coldplay song, “Fix You.” Great song. It’s a relationship song, and Chris Martin is presumably singing to his wife about how he’ll take care of her and make things better when they’re bad. Thus, the title of the song.

    Now, Chris Martin’s not the world’s best lyricist, but there’s a line in this song that never fails to make me gulp:

    Tears stream down your face
    When you lose something you cannot replace
    Tears stream down your face
    And I….

    Tears stream down your face
    I promise you I will look for my mistakes

    That line in bold kills me. Shivers every time I hear it. Sometimes tears. Because sometimes you have to fix yourself before you can fix anyone else.

    I think the world would be a helluva lot better place if more people looked for their own mistakes rather than looking for someone else’s.


    My Favorite Albums of 2008

    December 29, 2008

    I can’t say this was the best year for new music, especially since some new albums were pushed into 2009. But I did get a chance to listen to a bunch of new albums in the last month or two of the year, and thought I’d put together a list of my favorite new music from 2008.

    Mind you … some of these albums are not new. But they were new to me in 2008, so they deserve a shot at being listed.

    Viva La Vida1. Viva La Vida, by Coldplay

    I was a bit leery before this album came out. The previous release had some great songs, but the album was not better than the sum of its parts. I was glad to see they were working with Brian Eno on Viva La Vida, and wasn’t disappointed with the results. I just listened to this one again over the weekend, and it’s as good as I recall. And Prospekt’s March, the new EP, is also pretty good.

    Day & Age2. Day and Age, by The Killers

    This is one of the CDs I just got for Christmas, and the one I’ve been listening to the most. It’s a great bounce-back after Sam’s Town, which was good enough … but nothing special. I’ve listened to Day and Age 5-6 times now, and each time a new song jumps out at me. This is the album I want to listen to each day when I first fire up iTunes.

    Great Big Sea3. The Great Big Sea, by Beat Radio

    I don’t even know how to describe this album or band. The vibe I get from them is a group of guys playing together in a garage, or maybe in a small club with 30 people watching. It’s small music, and I mean that in the best way. Some of the songs are kinda strange. Quirky, even, in a good way. It’s very unique pop music. I hate to compare, but I suppose these guys are in the same neighborhood as Death Cab For Cutie. “Ancient as the Stars” is one of my favorites; I have three different versions of it — demo, regular, and alternate. You can download a bunch of their songs for free, even.

    Poison Kiss4. Poison Kiss, by The Last Goodnight

    You probably remember the song “Pictures Of You,” which was used in a commercial for … HP printers, I think. (?) Very catchy pop tune, and the whole album is pretty much like that. Some of the tracks are on the sappy side, but I like “This Is The Sound” and “Stay Beautiful” a lot.

    Streets of New York 5. Streets Of New York, by Willie Nile

    Really couldn’t decide what should go at No. 5 here, but this album kinda stayed with me for most of the year. I don’t know much about Willie Nile, but he’s a pretty clever songwriter and these are catchy pop tunes. (Much like the last two albums I’ve listed.) “Cell Phones Ringing (In the Pockets of the Dead)” is a typical song title.

    Honorable Mentions

    • A Hundred Million Suns, by Snow Patrol — Got this one right when it came out, but it’s never been a must-listen. I don’t think it’s as strong as their previous album.
    • David Cook, by David Cook — Don’t laugh, this is pretty darn good. Sean got it for Christmas, and I’ve been listening to it, too. If it wasn’t so new, this one might end up at No. 5 above.
    • Eleven Songs, by Luka Bloom — Another one that I haven’t owned long enough, but Luka’s albums are always good. “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You” is the standout song for me.

    What were some of your favorite albums that discovered in 2008?


    7 Reasons I Love the New Coldplay Album

    June 24, 2008

    Viva La Vida or Death And All His FriendsI wasn’t sure what to expect from Viva La Vida. Didn’t really care for the previous Coldplay album too much — too bland, too predictable, too Coldplay-by-numbers. But I was glad to see them choose Brian Eno to produce this one, and hopeful he’d steer them on a new course.

    He did. I’m a big fan of Viva La Vida. Here’s why:

    1.) After seven listens, there’s not a song I dislike and many that I love. “Lovers In Japan / Reign of Love” is terrific, as is “42” and “Death and All His Friends.” Those are the current faves.

    2.) It sounds new, different, adventurous. They have a new lease on life. It’s not a hugely dramatic change in their sound, but it opens up some new directions for them. That’s a Good Thing.

    3.) It’s not over-produced like X&Y was.

    4.) It starts with an instrumental. Seriously, how many rock albums even have an instrumental these days? How many start the album with one?

    5.) There’s a medley in the middle. Again, not a common thing on today’s rock albums.

    6.) There are three songs over six minutes long. The last track is technically supposed to include a “hidden song”, but the hidden song begins almost immediately after the actual track ends, so it plays like a a single, long song.

    7.) The song order is perfect. They did a marvelous job putting together the track list. Each song flows perfectly into the next. It makes this feel like a real album, not just a collection of random songs.

    That’s it. Seven reasons I love the new Coldplay CD.


    New Coldplay Single: Free Download

    April 27, 2008

    Viva La Vida or Death And All His FriendsJust got an email from telling me that they’re giving away the band’s new single, “Violet Hill,” as a free download beginning Tuesday on The free download will be available for a week.

    The new album is called Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends, and (as you can almost see on the image at right) it has some artwork with a half-nekkid woman on the front. So, not exactly the most fan-friendly album cover when you have a 10-year-old at home who likes Coldplay.

    I’m really curious to see what this album will sound like. I’ve been a fan since their first album, but didn’t find the most recent album all that thrilling — it was almost like Coldplay-by-numbers. I’m looking for something that sounds different, something new. They need to find a new path and explore it. With Brian Eno producing, I’m optimistic they’ve done that. But we’ll see…..