the reason i ask this question is because i got hooked on a couple of britpop documentaries on youtube this weekend. (the britpop story and 7 ages of rock: british indie music.) both mentioned that while oasis’ be here now pretty much signaled the end of the britpop movement, popularity of bands like travis and coldplay really signified the end. a- those two bands were entirely mainstream (not really “indie”), and b- they didn’t have much of the defiance and anger underlying most of britpop. i suppose there could be a c- they’re both as insipid as all hell. keane would also fit that bill.
i remember when i was in high school, and travis and coldplay were first hitting the states- i and my friends who liked britpop didn’t think much of those bands. other people, who weren’t really into music, took to them like a horse to water. it was good in some ways, to see people become excited about music, but on the other hand it’s a little sad when they go for something pretty dull. i never told my friend who went from only liking cheesy top 40 to becoming obsessed with travis and coldplay that she just jumped from one bore to another- i actually went to a travis show with her because nobody else wanted to go- but i kept hoping she’d jump into something deeper. that never happened. she’s happy though and i’m happy for her.
at kalx it would occasionally be annoying when somebody tried to call coldplay britpop, but there were enough people who actively cared about the genre that it wasn’t an issue. now the genre is dead and coldplay are the new u2 or radiohead.
this is all timely since coldplay’s new album came out last month. when i was in seattle i was upset that the experience music project weren’t selling any pacific northwest garage albums, though there was an exhibit about that scene, but they did have a whole wall devoted to viva la vida. last night i googled “who actually likes coldplay?” and found this piece, why i hate coldplay by andy gill which looks at why most everybody who doesn’t purchase coldplay’s albums loathe the band. the telegraph also looks at why critics largely hate coldplay despite public support. even msnbc asks that question.
i don’t really have the answer. i won’t even say i hate coldplay, rather i find them boring and don’t understand why people think they’re the second coming of anything. of course this is coming from somebody who works at a college radio station, grew up listening to punk garage, and never really got into mainstream music. (my love of rem at the age of 7 not withstanding.) i know i’m not the target audience and i know i’m not your average music fan, so i guess my not liking coldplay is expected. the reasons can be distilled to this:
- the music is tediously derivative.
- the songs all sound the same, and not in a billy childish/hasil adkins kind of way.
- they’re totally the establishment.
- chris martin’s an insufferable tit and so is his wife.
- the rest of the band puts up with that tit and doesn’t tell him to shut up.