There's something about Coldplay that makes people go all mushy in the head. I've had a few conversations recently with fiercely critical musicians who find something wrong with almost any music they listen to, but who, while agreeing that Chris Martin is perhaps the preeminent bad lyricist of our time, still find the band irresistible. Martin certainly has a voice to die for, and a knack for finding (and borrowing) lovely sweeping melodies, but I still fail to understand why this band is taken seriously as anything more than a clever concoction of U2 and Radiohead with a few heaping tablespoons of pure, unadulterated schmaltz.
Coldplay's latest single, "Speed of Sound," went up on all the major digital music stores on Tuesday. It sounds remarkably like "Clocks," the lead single from their last record, except that the inevitable leap into falsetto isn't anywhere near as satisfying this time around, and the piano sounds like the cheapest digital sample they could find. That doesn't seem to be bothering anyone but me. A Capitol Records publicist has just sent out a press release with the news that a day after its release, "Speed of Sound" was the most downloaded song on every one of the 15 worldwide iTunes stores.